Brendon Keenan pre World 24hr Champs Interview

BCR continues a small preview and interviews of the world 24hr champs this weekend.

The 9th IAU 24 Hour World Championships take place on Sept 8-9th in Katowice, Poland. Among the 150 Men and 104 Women representing 33 countries New Zealand will have a strong team, with a mix of experience and youth. The New Zealand team includes members of the men’s team that took bronze at last year’s Commonwealth 24hr champs and world age group record holders Val Musket and Brian McCorkindale.

The team is-

Women - Amy Campbell, Valerie Muskett, Vivian Cheng.

Men- Alex McKenzie, Graeme Butcher, Brian McCorkindale, Wayne Botha.

The start list as of August 26th can be found HERE on the IAU web site. Live updates should also be available during the race on the IAU web site as well as the Run24 web site.

Brendon Keenan at this years TNF100 in Australia

Today’s interview is with first time NZ rep and 24hr racer Brendon Keenan, who is sponsored by Vibram/Barefoot Inc.

BCR- How did you get into 24hr foot races and what motivates you to race these?

Brendon Keenan- I am fairly new to running fullstop, in comparison to many, (2.5 years now) and last year in November 2011 I won the Taranaki 160km ultra marathon (road, around the mountain) which indicated I had potential for the long distance races, this race win also gained me selection by ANZ to represent NZ. So I believe I have a potential for ultra distance and that is what motivates me.

BCR- Is this your first time representing NZ?

BK- Yes, this is my first time representing NZ. I was rapt to get NZ selection.

BCR- What is a typical training week or training block for you?

BK- Trail, living in Rotorua I am very fortunate being surrounded with so many trails including the redwoods and its surrounds. Depending on what events I have approaching, but even for a road race, trail running is perfect for many reasons; better on the body for clocking up huge mileage; engages and utilises different muscles groups; ideal for strength work / hill and strengthening the feet and legs; provides variation and can provide options for fartlek etc. I have just finished a conditioning phase of training which included 180 – 200kms per week for 8 eight weeks continuous and a lot of that was on the trails. Long trail runs include 35-50km sessions for me.

BCR- 24hr races are, generally, on flat, smooth terrain. Is this what you stick to in training or are you getting out in the hills and trails also?

BK- As answered above, trail running in minimal shoes still forms the basis or foundation of my training, especially in the early weeks of conditioning training. I believe trail running helps me to run high mileage weeks and stay injury free. It is all about time on your feet and combinning distance and speed. However, now that the 24 hour world champs is getting closer for the last 2-3 weeks I have been mainly doing road running and the main session each week has been me running to Tauranga from Rotorua (72kms), I have done this run three weeks in a row, each time is a 72km road run for me. On one occasion I ran home again to Rotorua the following day. Now that I have entered a more strength part of my schedule it is mainly roads and tempo work. I begin a taper next week, the taper is for 2 weeks.

BCR- What is your current best for 24hrs and what are your expectations going into the World Champs?

BK-  I have never run in a 24 hour event. This is my first!!!!!! My expectation is (hopefully it is realistic) is to run 240 kms or just over.

Our other interviews – Amy Campbell can be seen HERE and Vivian Cheng HERE

All the best to the NZ 24hr team, as well as Sarah Biss who is racing the World Mountain Running Long Course Championships this weekend also.

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A Backcountry Running Community for New Zealand trail, mountain and ultra runners- We want this to be the place you come for all things trail running including race previews and reports, interviews with New Zealand runners and hopefully a whole lot more! Our aim is to provide as much original content- previews/reports/interviews on New Zealand trail, mountain and ultra races. We can't be everywhere- so feel free to get in touch if you have the scoop on a race or event.

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