Budding triathlete Kelise Wade proves an all-action hero
Kelise Wade underlined her potential after achieving podium finishes in separate back-to-back events on Bermuda Day.
The 12-year-old Sandys Secondary Middle School student was the top female and second overall in the Sinclair Packwood Memorial Youth Race, completing the two-mile race from Red Hole, Paget, to Cedar Avenue in 5min 21sec.
With hardly time to catch her breath, Wade then slipped into her running gear and proceeded to an equally impressive third-place finish in her age group and 40th overall on her debut competing in the Heritage Day Junior Classic, covering the two miles from Front Street to Bernard Park in 15min 39sec.
“Whenever I do any sport I always feel happy and proud with myself and always try my best,” Wade told The Royal Gazette.
“Today is actually my first time doing the run after the cycle. I have never done the run before.”
The promising triathlete gave her all in the cycle race, which is her main discipline.
“I tried my best in the cycling to get up there with the fast people in the pack,” she added. “I used up all my energy sprinting and then right after the race I quickly changed my clothes to do the run.”
Wade ultimately overcame fatigue and other ailments on the way to securing another podium finish in the Heritage Day Junior Classic.
“When I started to run I was feeling tired and started getting stitches,” she said. “I did walk a few times because my legs were hurting me.
“When I finished the race I felt like I was going to faint. I felt dizzy and think my hydration was low.”
Wade has been grooming her skills competing on the local triathlon scene from a very young age.
“When I was 4 or 5 years old I used to do the Iron Kids running with my mother and ever since then I have been in love with it,” she added.
So what inspired her to compete in the multifaceted sport?
“What inspired me was people around me just cheering me on,” Wade said. “Even people who did not know me encouraged me to keep going and I enjoy the camaraderie and atmosphere.”
Jackson Langley won the Sinclair Packwood youth race in 4:49.4, with Zachary Moniz rounding off the overall podium in third in 5:23.5.
“It’s good to see this youth race as part of the celebrations of Bermuda Day and for these young athletes to show their cycling ability,” Peter Dunne, the Bermuda Bicycle Association president, said.
Tajai Goater won the Heritage Day Junior Classic in 11:17 followed by Cameron Adkins (11:29) in second and Jauza James (11:45) in third.
Jaeda Grant (12:56) was the first female finisher and fourteenth overall, with Azari Jones (13:50) taking second.
“We had a 50 participants who were all excited and it was a very competitive race,” race official Anthony Raynor said. “We had some battles going on in various age groups and it was very exciting.
“The crowd support was fantastic and it was a beautiful day.”