Interview #8 Bree Wee
Happy to be posting the first LRY interview of 2015 with Bree Wee, Hawaii’s only female PRO triathlete! Bree is a phenomenal athlete, and possibly one of the brightest smilers within the Hawaii sport scene. Renown for her strength and speed, Bree made an impact on the triathlon scene in 2007, and hasn’t looked back since, becoming a professional triathlete in 2008. This year at the Ironman World Champs in Kona, Bree finished 16th Pro Woman overall in a time of 9:34:37. Next up for Bree is Ironman Melbourne, March 22nd.
LRY: Hi Bree! As a professional triathlete based in Hawaii, what do you enjoy most about living and training in the islands?
BW: So many things to list! The warmth of the sun and people first most! I struggle in the cold, it’s easy finding motivation on a warm day. My training partners are also very positive, happy, people. That helps! Ocean swims, rides through valleys, runs along the beach, there really is a lot to appreciate.
LRY: How do you find the experience of travelling from Hawaii to race in different states, and countries?
BW: I look at it as an opportunity, it’s a must! The length of travel and expense is outrageous! If I entertain those those thoughts I miss out on the experience, the sights I see, and people I’m meeting. I’ve really been open minded to it all and it’s helping me bring the patience and other lessons over into other areas of life.
LRY: What is your normal ‘go-to’ breakfast before an Ironman?
BW: Bonk Breaker bars if my stomach is nervous. I trust them and they are easy to digest. If I’m doing fine, eggs, oatmeal, rice cakes with almond butter and honey, bananas, and green tea.
LRY: The Honu 70.3/ Half Ironman in May is one of the first major triathlons a lot of Hawaii triathletes will do on their way to qualifying for the Ironman World Champs in Kona, each October. What advice would you give to someone who has signed up for Honu for the first time?
BW: Make peace with the heat. It’s a very warm race. Enjoy the swim, it is open water but it’s a gorgeous and safe place with a relatively easy to sight course and loop. And relax on the flight down Hawi, because you will be flying and the crosswinds can scare you. And drink every aid station of the run…there really is minimal shade to hide in on that run and taking care of yourself will make for a much better day.
LRY: What can you remember about your first ever Ironman event?
BW: Everything! You never forget your first! It felt like the happiest training day of my life, because it was my home training course and being my first one I had yet to learn how to “race” an ironman. My goals were to enjoy it, finish it, and appreciate that I was able to do one! Mission accomplished.
LRY: What are your favourite memories from Kona?
BW: Seeing my son, Kainoa and family & friends out there. Passing through parts of the course where great training moments were shared. And just Alii Drive. You can feel the magic of the moment all over that part of the run.
LRY: What advice would you give to a triathlete going through a tough patch on race day?
BW: Keep going. They don’t last forever. Remember why you are out there and fight for that…
LRY: What is your favourite post-Ironman thing to do? Or something you like to do during the off-season?
BW: I like to surf. It’s a place that I truly feel free from “racing”. I just go in the ocean and leave everything else on shore.
LRY: And finally – a few fun, non-triathlon questions!
LRY: Papayas or pineapples? BW: Pineapples.
LRY: Coconuts of avocados? BW: Coconuts.
LRY: Mauka or makai? BW: Makai…until an adventure calls me.
LRY: Shave ice or frozen yogurt? BW: Frozen yogurt
LRY: Musubi or sushi? BW: Musubi on bike rides, sushi every other time.
LRY: Favourite beach? BW: Lyman’s because of a whale I met out surfing back in 2003, Pine Trees because of a certain rock, Kamilo because it’s Kainoa and my spot on our mother-son adventures…but I’m not fussy, I love them all.
LRY: Favourite hike? BW: Waimanu.
Thanks Bree! Great to hear your advice for triathletes who have signed up for Honu, and also about surviving tough patches during a race! Hawaii wishes you luck in your next Ironman competition!
To read more about Bree’s adventures in life and as an Iron-wo-man check out her colourful blog: Bree Wee.