McKee excels at Ironman World Championship in Hawaii

October 19, 2017

Rebecca McKee of Anchorage is thrilled with her performance at Saturday’s Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

McKee, the owner and coach of Peak Center Alaska, placed eighth in the 45-49 age group among non-professionals in 10 hours, 40 minutes and 41 seconds. She was also the 91st female overall.

“I gave it all I had today,” McKee wrote on Facebook. “I gambled a little and flirted with the (age-group) podium. … I’m beyond proud and excited to have finished eighth today!”

Rebecca McKee (left) and Kinsey Laine

The famous event, which has tough qualification standards, begins with a 2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run.

McKee, 45, had her strongest leg on the bike, which she completed in 5:36. On that leg, she improved in her division from the 26th fastest split to the eighth fastest. McKee spent 1:09 in the water and finished with a marathon of 3:47.

McKee revealed that she needed medical attention after the race.

“I got to spend some time in the med tent due to my blood pressure dropping too low,” she wrote.

McKee’s result was a considerable improvement from three previous Ironman Worlds: she finished in 10:53 in 2016, 11:03 in 2014 and 11:01 in 2013.

Meanwhile, Kinsey Laine, a 28-year-old former swimmer and coach at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, took 10:56:48 to cover the grueling course, good for 18th in the 25-29 age group and 104th among non-professional women.

Laine, who was Alaska’s top triathlete before moving to Oregon this summer, started strong with a swim of 55:35. This placed her second in her age group and was faster than 26 of the 38 professionals who started.

Laine, racing her first time at the Ironman World Championships, dropped back with the 17th fastest age group time on the bike (5:44:38) before struggling on the run (4:07:04) and being passed by McKee.

– By Matias Saari, Alaska Sports Blog contributor