Started approximately 2 years ago. I was overweight and unhealthy. I decided to make a change. With some help along the way, I lost 84kilograms, started riding a mountain bike and walking for exercise. As I became healthier, I upgraded to a Triathlon bicycle and started thinking of competing. With the help and support of my brother, Wayne Keet, having done almost 40 IM70.3 races, and from the Mubakeron team, especially Hassan Alkaff, I found myself entering my first triathlon, Khobar (4 December 2021). Using an old diving wetsuit and some borrowed equipment I managed to finish.
Not quick but I finished. As my confidence grew so did my thoughts and after alot of hesitation, I registered for my first Ironman 70.3. Antalya, Turkey would be my race. 6 November 2022. Almost 2 years since my decision to change my lifestyle. Race day arrive pretty quickly. Weather promised to be good, and it was. I lined up on the start together with my brother who had said if I ever do an Ironman, he would be with me every step of the way. Wetsuit swim in the Mediterranean was awesome and managed to pass a lot of people. It was an “australian exit” swim so that small run up the shore and back in the water just gave me chance to stretch the shoulders and refocus for the second loop. My brother, Wayne and I exited the water together and ran into T1. Took time to breathe and get all my kit on properly, grabbed my bike and ran through “bike out”. Jumped on and settled down into a rhythm for the next 90km. With a gentle wind across the shoulder, we made decent time on the bike and arrived at T2 in under 3 hours. Very happy with that time. Shoes on and we were quickly out on the run course. The 3 loop run course passed through The Land of Legends mall, with spectators sitting outside coffee shops cheering and clapping on all the competitors, a special atmosphere. I felt pain in my right foot so decided to just run at a slower pace and finish, rather than try push and maybe DNF.
After a lot of kilometers, sweat and pain the finish line was there and the announcer shouted those words we all want to hear……..”You are now an Ironman”. We had finished. Wayne had kept his promise and was next to me the whole 70.3 miles. Happiness, pain and relief was felt all at once. I did it….I was an Ironman. Big thanks to all those that wished us well and sent messages of congratulations. My wife, my daughter for helping along the way. My family, my coach and brother Wayne. The Saudi Tri Community, and friends for all the encouragement.
Thank you to all.
Barry Keet NOV. 2022
See you at IM70.3 Bahrain.