Kemar Leslie running in Mavis Bank

Leslie on the move in Mavis Bank


By Dania Bogle


Kemar Leslie believes that age is no deterrent to achieving one’s goals and at 25-years-old he hopes to make it on the international stage as a long-distance runner.

Leslie grew up in Jamaica and went to Mavis Bank High and later Papine High School before migrating to the Bahamas to join his parents.  After spending much of his teenage years in the Bahamas, he returned to Jamaica in 2009.

It was while living in the northern Caribbean that he discovered a love for middle and long distance running events.

“I used to do the 100m but when I went to the Bahamas I found that I loved the long distance more so I started to do the 1500m, the 1200m,” Leslie told MilesplitJa.

“I used to travel to the island’s and do the long distances and that’s when I found out I was good at it.”

The athlete, who lives in the community, joined the Mavis Bank Track Club eight months ago. Mavis Bank Track Club is the only club in Jamaica dedicated to the middle and long distance events.

Leslie has posted a personal best of 16 minutes in the 5000m and is hoping to lower his time to 13 or 14 minutes understanding that this is the best way to break onto the international circuit.

However, after competing at at last year’s Reggae Marathon where he finished third in the 13 1/2 mile half-marathon, he is is hoping to do more. His PB in the 13 1/2 mile race is one hour and 15 minutes.

“I used to just run for recreation but a year or two ago I started to put more emphasis on it. I want to go beyond fun and possible do it for a career,” he said.

He is not daunted by the fact of his age: “Long distance is a race that is usually developed over time. It doesn’t bother me because you can be 30 and still be a great long distance runner.”

He was introduced to the club by persons who saw him running on the road and thought he would make a good addition.

“I’m improving n confidence. Before I didn’t have a coach and I didn’t know what I was doing wrong but now.”

As part of his vision, Leslie will be hoping to compete at next year’s Jamaica National Championships in both 1500m and 5000m.