Athlete of the Month, April 2010 – Ketill Helgason
Athlete of the Month
D3: Can you tell us a little bit about your sports background? Which sports did you do as a kid and as you got older?
Ketill:If any, then that would be running , because when I was a kid I used to be sent into the hills to send sheep out of the forest, that my grandfather had grown. All other sport, I couldn‚Äôt do, I was the last one to be picked into the football team, could not pull me up on the ropes in gymnasium, or jump over the stuff. As I grew older I tended more to sport like snowmobile or salmon fishing, watch F1 on the TV.
D3:What is your current job and what do you do?
Ketill: I do run my own companies, processing fish in China and import to USA and distribute there.
D3: Where do you currently live, and how is the training in the area?
Ketill: I live in Dalian, China. I live in suburb, on the beach. It is very good to run around there, lot of space and half a mile from me is a great track, 1km long. After bike for 10 min. I am out of the traffic and can bike for hours without stopping on all sorts of roads. From May I can swim in the ocean which is a 5 min walk from my apartment. I have about 6 pools to choose from, 6 of them are 50 meter pools.
D3:What was your motivation to get started in triathlon?
Ketill:After doing my first race ever, in middle of April last year, which was half marathon, then I felt so high that I was sure that I could do Ironman so I decided then that I would go for one.
D3:When and where was your first race?
Ketill:My first Triathlon race was Olympic distance in Beijing in July last year. I lasted for MAX 10 minutes, then I could not swim more, got too stressed, got some panic attack. This is how great I was. Beginning of Sept last year I did finish an Olympic distance first and only time.
D3:You recently completed IM China for your 1st IM. Why China and how did your day go?
Ketill:One of the best in my life. Even though I got so bad cramps that I was starting to think about pulling out, simply because I could not walk. Still this was greatest day . I did Finish 3 hours later than I had planned, but that was very OK due to what happened there .
D3:What workout or workouts do you feel prepared you the best for race day?
KEtill: Hard to tell, I believe they were all vital. I would not have wanted to miss any. If something , then those long bike tours, 6 to 7 hours. They became pretty handy after I had biked some 140 KM and had 50 to go .
D3:What are your long term goals in triathlon?
Being honest, of course I want to go to Kona. But while I am waiting for that, then my realistic goal would be to finish an Ironman by doing the swim all freestyle ( I did all breast stroke this time ) and run the marathon , not walk or walk and run, just run.
D3: What‚Äôs in your race future?
Ketill: There is an international marathon in my city this month so I will do half distance. One year anniversary. Then there are some 5 official OLY distance Triathlon races here in China this year. I intend to go there with my club and in Sept. we have half IM distance race as well in China.
D3: What‚Äôs your favorite workout?
Ketill: Hard to say, this all started because I was biking with my son ( he was jogging ) . I have had progress in swim for last months and like that now a lot. But bike with good friends in good warm weather, not too much head wind, that is nice.
D3:What your least favorite workout:
Ketill:Cant say I like them all just none, if anything, then stretching
D3: Tell us something interesting about you!
Ketill: I am 46 years old born 1963 in Iceland. At 18 years old I started to work on the trawlers and was there for 7 years or so. It was there where I got used to work like 18 hours in row, sleep for 3 hours and keep on working. That came pretty handy racing for Ironman. After that I started to run fish factory in Iceland. In 2000 I moved to China and have been here more or less since.
One and half year ago, I got tired walking up few steps of stairs. I was smoking about 3 packs of cigarettes on a good day and had done that for 30 years. I was eating more or less what was on the table. I did not think about it at all what I ate. As well I did drink quite a lot of beer and stronger stuff as well . I did change all those things, step by step, and today I don‚Äôt smoke, think about what I eat and drink from nothing a week to max 1 or 2 bottle over a whole week.