'I love running' - Jamaica Moves Corporate Challenge male winner has passion to move
As a high-schooler, the longest distance you could get Kemar Leslie to run (competitive or otherwise) was the 1500-metre race. Fast-forward to 2018, and you will notice that he's the face you see crossing the finish line first at most 5K races around town.
The 29-year-old, who grew up in Mavis Bank, St Andrew, is an alumnus of the Papine High School. He migrated to the United States after completing high school and, soon after, he got out of the habit of running.
But your passion always finds a way to push through any seal. There's no way to stop it. His love for running soon crept back into his life.
"I never used to run for a while and then churches in America used to do races, including 5Ks. I started taking part in them and I found out that I love the longer distance, and that's where it developed until now," Leslie said. This was around 2010.
Since then, the 'amateur' road racer has not stopped competing in 5K races.
"Over the years, running has given me a good feeling. I love running. I do it for fitness. It's actually a hobby for me. When I exercise, it acts as a stress reliever," Leslie said.
"I found that running has kept me a bit focused. It keeps me in shape. It keeps me healthy and refuels my energy afterwards."
I WANTED TO BE ON TOP
Leslie was a part of the Rainforest Seafood's team that finished second in the Jamaica Moves Get Moving Corporate Challenge.
"Being a part of the Rainforest team and the Corporate Challenge, I wanted to be on top and I came out on top," Leslie said.
He topped all six 5K races in the Corporate Challenge.
He describes the challenge as a real motivator for him to train harder.
"I wanted to come out on top. I wanted my team to come out on top. It challenged me to work harder and to get up each day knowing that I had something to work towards," Leslie explained.
Reflecting on the journey of the four-month challenge, Leslie said that he would encourage people to engage in physical activity because it is profitable. He further encouraged employers to focus on the health and well-being of their employees.
"The more your employers focus on health, the longer you will have them working for you. It will also enhance their productivity," Leslie said.
"When I run, I move around more efficiently at work because my muscles are loose. But the opposite occurs when I haven't run for a while. My muscles are tied up and I'm not focused the way I should."
Moreover, he says that physical activity backed by encouragement motivates employees on the job to get involved and ultimately brings them together.