Up Close and Personal – with Rebekah Bruhwiller

Rebekah has been with the team since the outset here’s her story.

“… most 100m runners find it hard to graduate to 200m so you have done pretty well for yourself”   
That was a message from one of my old athlete coaches when I was bragging about my AG 3rd place in my first ever Ironman distance triathlon at the age of 41.
There is no inspiring story about how I became an Ironman finisher.  I am addicted to sport, plain and simple.  If I forgot my sports kit at school I would check myself into ‘sick’-bay office… secretly climb out the window, catch the bus home and get my sports clothes for training later that day.   I played on so many sports teams it was ridiculous.   Most people pegged me as a swimmer and touch rugby representative BUT my true love was Athletics.  The shorter the distance the better, I was quick out of the blocks so I loved the 100m events… competing at school regional,state & national levels.
rebekah run teenagerSo after I finished year 12 I decided to pursue the running.   QEII Athletic Stadium was right next to the university I was attending so I  trained on the track every day and spent hours in the gym.   I started to race all around Australia in what they called gift racing. I was racing for prize money, which labelled me as a “Professional Runner” I actually had to declare my income to the Australian tax department..  Pro racing was a bit like horse racing as you were given betting odds and people bet on you.  One race my odds were 100:1 and I won the final.  I had people walking away with thousands of $$ and thanking me for the win.  I think I only got about $500 for that particular race.  The downfall of pro racing was that after your earn’t a certain amount you could not race as an amateur.  Therefore not eligible to compete at international competitions run by amateur athletics federation e.g.  commonwealth or olympic games.  Was not on my radar (or capabilities) but for athletes of today this rule has been lifted.
Rebekah surfWith the amateur side of racing I got a few clothing item sponsors but no money.  I achieved a handful of medals at state and national levels.  My PB for 100m was 11sec flat.  It was recorded with a wind assistance, but still validated.   I also competed in beach sprints & beach flags.  My last event in Australia was the Australian Surf Life Saving Titles where I scraped in 3rd place.   Not long after the titles I had a bad car accident which placed me out of action for a while.   I returned to athletes when I moved to Zurich,CH and had some success at local european events.  But was shorted lived as I fell pregnant with Aimee, the first of three children.
The first triathlon I ever watched was Noosa in 1990.  Miles Stewart won it and I remember stalking and gorking at him at the Reef nightclub that evening as he was a good dancer as well.    It wasn’t until about 15 years later that I competed in my first Triathlon.  Mainly because my husband (X criterium cyclist & national xcountry runner) was now into triathlons. He was always giving me shit about how track runners were lazy, and spent more time lying around stretching then actually running. Bla bla bla.  I took the challenge.  My first race was with a mountain bike at a triathlon in Zurich.  I was first out of the swim,  dead last  by the end of the bike leg, managed to crawl to the middle of the rankings by the end of the run. The run was only 5kms, but I thought it was never going to end.   5km for a 100m runner is like running a marathon.
Rebekah and team Roth

With some of the team at Roth

I said I would never ever do an ironman.  Never say never!  During 2013 I was self-training for my first Ironman event (another bet from hubby).  I found the MaccaX site while googling about getting some examples Ironman training sets.  I joined the group to get access to these Macca sessions.  As a result I was introduced to a great group of people. Some I have meet up with in different parts of the world.  I find the comradeship the best thing about the MACCAX group.