27 year Bree Wee from Kailua-Kona Hawaii was the top age grouper and 13th overall female at the 2007 Ford Ironman World Champions in Hawaii. Slowtwitch had a chance to find out more about this Hawaii resident.
ST: Bree, what have you done this year to get ready for Kona?
Bree: The best thing I did this year was getting a coach! Paul Regensburg from Lifesport took me under his wing and all I had to do was the work. It was great not having to think about what to do and when to do it. He did the brain work & I did the physical work. I also did a couple training camps, one in Canada and one in Kona. For Kona I had to learn to swim, bike, and run longer. It was a blast but a mental challenge too. So, I suppose you could say I had to work on keeping focused for such long periods of time. And the nutrition for a long event gave me a good kick in the butt! I was all over the place training while trying to figure it out. I think I got my nutrition under control after many side of the rode puke sessions and too many to count bonks during the long rides.
ST: Can you tell us about your athletic background?
Bree: I was a tomboy growing up. I did everything and anything that meant being outside and not inside playing Barbie’s with my sisters. In middle school I got into swimming but only for the social side of it. I loved traveling to swim meets and meeting people but I lacked the focus and goal setting to follow through. In high school I quit swimming and started surfing, mostly for fun but some contests too. I wanted to be a professional surfer. I also tried my hand at barrel racing and thought about doing some rodeos! That was a hoot! In high school I tried out for the track team, I was the slowest so the coach told me if I wanted to run he had a spot for me racing hurdles. Did I mention I was also the shortest? So, that didn’t last long and I ended up a bloody mess and just surfed throughout high school and college.
ST: Do you find it difficult to juggle your family and training?
Bree: Nope! Family first, triathlon second… I do my best to make training, travel, and racing happen. Before I found a balance I was going crazy… now I settle for what training time I can. Sometimes very early or very late, on a treadmill or bike trainer even when it is beautiful outside. My husband is very supportive and I have my younger sister to help me when they can. But it always comes down to family first.
ST: Can you tell us a bit more about your family?
Bree: My husband is 9 years older so he has lived all his dreams and just supports whatever crazy ideas I come up with. My son, Kainoa (means strong in Hawaiian,) he just turned 17 months old. As a family we spend most of our time at the beach. Taking turns surfing and swimming with Kainoa.
ST: For Kona, do you feel it is an advantage for you that you live, work and train in Hawaii?
Bree: Oh yes! Knowing the course like the back of my hand made such a difference on race day. Also, knowing nearly every volunteer and having the support of family and friends along the course was incredible. I have no complaints about living here. The only disadvantage I ever think about & hear about is that we don’t have nearly as many races and we have to travel pretty far to race on the mainland. The expenses and lack of race opportunities can add up. Also, I am finding that a lot of sponsors and support think we live in a place that lacks exposure-so that gets frustrating. But I wouldn’t want to trade my home for anything.
ST: What does a typical training week look like for you?
Bree: I am up every morning by 5am. I do the wife thing, pack my husband's lunch for work and make his coffee and breakfast. Then I usually do a swim or bike in the morning. I come home and do the mom thing. Play toys, take Kainoa to the beach or park, play more toys, play more toys, play even more toys (that’s my biggest workout!). And then I often have an evening workout when Jim gets home. Depending on my schedule, I have roughly 15 hours of training a week. Sometimes more sometimes less, depends on where I am at with the season. I have random part-time jobs to help Jim with the finances too. This week I am painting an ohana he built. Don’t tell the owners but I think it looks like Kainoa painted it and not me! And, the dorkiest part of all… I like to go to bed around 8:30. Yep, I’m a nerd!
ST: What are you doing in the off-season?
Bree: I am running the Honolulu Marathon then I plan to hang out with my family that I neglected during Ironman training. I’m thinking about making a comeback to surfing! Just kidding! But you can find me at the beach during the off season.
ST: Have you considered turning professional?
Bree: I consider it nearly every day! I would love to do what I love as a career.
ST: What is your favorite race event anywhere and why?
Bree: I have a tie. Ironman Hawaii (need I say more?) And any Peaman event! Peaman races are the BEST. They are small, local races with all the hometown crew and community. It is like a family day at the beach with all your closest friends. Within the Peaman races there are several mini battles with local rivals (good-clean fun) and at one of the events is where I met my husband! He ripped off my goggles and tried to drown me… those races will always be held near the heart of this local girl!
ST: What is your favorite food?
Bree: It’s probably not the best food for an athlete but I’m addicted to Spam musubi.
ST: Do you have any preferences in terms of music?
Bree: Jawaiian! It’s like a mix of Hawaiian and Reggae. But every now and then I like to play some 80’s or rap and dance like a dork.
ST: What was the last movie you saw and did you like it?
Bree: I honestly can’t remember the last movie I saw at the theater- this new mom thing has taken over control of my date nights! Hmmm…It may have been the second Transporter movie. If it was then yes, I liked it. I really love the Transporter.
ST: Do you have any special tips for other age group athletes?
Bree: Sure, just have fun, always have fun with the training and racing and be thankful you can do the sport. I learned this after watching my younger sister nearly die in a horrible car accident and be told she would never run again-as she sat in a wheel chair. Now, she is racing triathlon and daily teaches me how lucky we are to do sports.
Also, find a favorite pre-race meal that works for you. Once I figured out what to eat before races I was confident I had the energy to make it through.
Thanks for the chat Slowtwitch. “Mele Kalikimaka & Hau ‘oli Makahiki Hou!” (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!)
Bree Wee race results 2007
- Ford Ironman World Champs Hawaii, 13th overall/1st amateur
- Waikiki Rough Water Swim, 4th (25-29)
- Dick Evans 112 Mile Road Race, 1st overall
- Tinman Triathlon, 1st overall
- USAT National Championships, 2nd overall
- Kona 1/2 Marathon, 1st overall
- Ford Ironman 70.3 Hawaii, 3rd overall
- Honolulu Triathlon, 1st overall
- St. Anthony's Triathlon, 3rd elite amateur
- Lavaman Triathlon, 4th overall
- Great Aloha Run, 2nd overall