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Shoeless Sukanya Jobson perseveres through difficult Heritage Day debut

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Battling performance: Sukanya Jobson crosses the finish line in second place having lost her trainer while leading the girl’s eight to ten division in the Heritage Day Junior Classic race

You often hear the term resilience used in reference to sport; the process of adapting in the face of adversity and significant stress.

At the age of just ten, Sukanya Jobson proved to be the embodiment of that as she took part in her first Heritage Day Junior Classic race as part of the Bermuda Day holiday celebrations last Friday.

Competing among the girl’s eight to ten age category, Jobson looked on course for a dream debut in the event, racing clear of her competition and on course for victory, but s the two-mile race entered its latter stages, disaster struck when one of her running shoes inadvertently came loose and consequently came off.

Not wanting to lose momentum, or her lead, Jobson continued to run but her lack of footwear soon proved costly.

“When my shoe fell off, I started to run for a little while until I stepped on this big rock and hurt myself really bad on my foot,” said Jobson, who soon saw her lead dissipate completely.

“Then a girl passed me and I was in left in second place.”

With victory seemingly snatched away from her in cruel fashion, Jobson concedes at that point she had thoughts of giving up altogether.

“I didn’t want to do it any more, I was unbalanced and started to breath heavy, she said.”

Yet despite the overwhelming sense of frustration and disappointment, she persevered to the finish line, ultimately settling for second place in her age group in a time of 13min 2sec, just slightly more than 20 seconds adrift of Naomi MacGuinness’s winning time of 12:40.

Still smiling: Sukanya Jobson, still missing her trainer, poses with her second-place trophy

“My foot hurt really bad, but I just pushed to my limit,” said Jobson, whose time was good enough for third overall among the seventeen junior females competing.

“I also had prickles in my foot and at the finish line my mum had to carry me to the St John hospital tent.”

Having been forced to watch on as her daughter endured a challenging conclusion to the race, Kendy Swainson could not hide her pride at the character shown by her child.

“This was her first Bermuda day race and she was very nervous,” said Swainson. “As her mum I am extremely proud of her.

“I know it was difficult running on the hard asphalt in just socks, but luckily some of the potholes on course had been fixed prior to the race and the road surface was not too hot.

“Sukanya only started running competitively just a year ago and I have seen how she has grown and improved with each race.

“This was a teachable moment for her when things get hard you can either give up or persevere.”

Despite going through a difficult first experience in the Heritage Day Junior Classic, Swainson is adamant her daughter, who became part of the Bermuda Pacers Track Club last year, has not been deterred from entering the race again.

“She will definitely continue to support and be part of the Heritage Day Junior Classic and Bermuda Day races as a whole,” added Swainson, who spoke of her daughter’s aspirations to become a track runner.

“She loves to compete against other runners and has dreams of becoming an excellent runner in the future, especially over 400 and 800 metres.”

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Published June 02, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated June 01, 2023 at 5:46 pm)

Shoeless Sukanya Jobson perseveres through difficult Heritage Day debut

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