'Fun' runner Harris wants to go the distance in inspiring others
Jozanne Harris surprised herself and others, but mostly herself, when she retained the female title at the Sagicor/Sigma Run 2022 recently.
An avid sports enthusiast, Harris runs mostly for fun, but “fun running” has seen her win Jamaica's most popular road race twice in succession.
Following on the heels of her 2021 victory, Harris did it again last Sunday in an even better time than last year, less than 24 hours after completing a triathlon. Hence, the reason she was surprised by her own performance and ultimate victory.
“I recovered enough to cover the course. How I would have done it I honestly wasn't sure. I knew the pace I needed to run in order to improve on my time from last year, but I wasn't sure that I had enough left in the tank from the day before, in order to get it done,” Harris explained.
While others who entered the race may have done so with winning in mind, for Harris, it was once again just another fun run.
“I told myself that I need to have fun, regardless of what happens.”
She is currently working on her certification as a fitness instructor, and Harris says her lifestyle has always been about being healthy.
“I have always been into health and wellness and that won't change. I am actually trying to get more involved in that and doing more things and getting certified in that area.
“That is my interest, my passion, my fun, but being competitive on the 5K circuit is not a part of my plans.”
Harris was born in Jamaica but spent her teenage years going to school in Barbados where she wasn't allowed to participate much in sport.
However, on her return to Jamaica and entry to The University of the West Indies, things changed for Harris.
“I got involved in track at UWI, the swim team and the hockey team,” she revealed.
As her love for outdoor activities grew, so did her desire to challenge herself, which led to her running two marathons, both outside of Jamaica.
“I ran my first marathon in Geneva, Switzerland, while visiting my sister on vacation in May 2018 and my second in Indiana during another vacation in 2019.”
A member of the Jamdamers Running Club, Harris says her focus is to keep improving and to be there again next year to compete at yet another Sigma run.
“My family is amazed at the level of commitment and discipline I have shown, and they are super proud of me. My nieces and nephews were so excited, that I won again.
“I hope that I can inspire them, the younger ones. I want to continue to be an inspiration to them in all areas of life.”
“My message is to go for what you want and what you feel passionate about and if you can, inspire and motive others as well,” she closed.