Sanaa Rae Morris On Pacers And Magic Mile

February 23, 2024 | 0 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Although Sanaa Rae Morris never actually competed in the Skyport Magic Mile, she credits the Bermuda Pacers Track Club, the organisers of the annual event, for fuelling her passion for running.

Rae Morris ran for Pacers for more than six years, representing them at overseas meets and believes those experiences at a tender age helped pave her way to earning a full athletic scholarship at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The sprinter presently trains under decorated coach, David Oliver, who won the bronze medal in the 110 metres hurdles at the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.

skyport magic mile 2024 poster

“Running with Pacers created a deep love for the sport at a very young age and has since created great opportunities for me that continue to this day,” Rae Morris told Bernews. “Pacers played a significant role in my development in track and field.”

Now in its 27th renewal, the Magic Mile started in 1995 as a senior race in Somerset, with juniors competing, hosted by Swan’s Running Club.

The following year, the late Judy Simons, then the Pacers president, contacted the original sponsor, Telford Electric, about holding a similar event to the Pro Shop Junior Race.

Magic Mile Questions Sanaa Morris

Bermuda Skyport came on board as the new lead sponsor of the Magic Mile in 2019, ensuring the perseveration of the ever-popular race.

“The Skyport Magic Mile is a very important event for Bermuda,” Rae Morris said. “It’s a time when the little ones can be introduced to this sport from as young as four years old.

“It also brings a sense of community, where parents, children, and people from all around Bermuda come together to get involved, whether watching or participating.

“Races like the Skyport Magic Mile are essential to any athlete to get them used to racing.

Magic Mile Questions Sanaa Morris

“Having lots of people attend this event also helps to encourage the children that participate, enabling them to show off their talents.”

The event, which takes place next Saturday [March 2] at the Flora Duffy Stadium, has afforded Pacers coaches, and those from other local clubs, a chance to cast an eye over talented runners from 4 to 15 years old.

“Pacers have done an excellent job promoting the sport, and the Skyport Magic Mile offers an opportunity to be scouted by Pacers with possible life-changing results,” Rae Morris said.

Magic Mile Questions Sanaa Morris

“I know being a member of Pacers changed the course of my future. With every step along the way in my track journey, Pacers have always shown their full support, helping me get into the IMG Academy [in Bradenton, Florida], which is a sports boarding school, and then moving forward to Howard University.

“Dr [Freddie] Evans [the Bermuda National Athletics Association president] was instrumental in helping me find and choose the best academic and athletic opportunity for me.”

The 19-year-old has enjoyed many highlights during her athletics career, including earning the Nike Nationals All-American Track and Field Award in 2019, captaining the IMG Academy track and field team in 2021, and winning medals for Bermuda at the Carifta Games in the Cayman Islands in 2019 and Jamaica in 2021.

However, she said none of her achievements would have been possible without the help of several Pacers coaches.

Magic Mile Questions Sanaa Morris

“I started training with coach Cal Simons, who showed me the basic foundations of track and gave me the opportunity to explore different events like the long jump, to see if I had other interests within the sport,” said Rae Morris, who was named the Pacers Female Athlete of the Year in 2016, 2017, 2018.

“As I developed more, I started training with Ms [Janine] Scott, who guided me with my specific events, which ended up being the 200 and 400.

“I moved up and started training with Mr [Norbert] Simons, where he shared his knowledge about the ins and outs of the sport and trained me to perfect my craft at track even more.

Magic Mile Questions Sanaa Morris

“Along this journey of development with Pacers, I had full support along the way and am forever grateful for the lessons and experiences that each coach and athlete provided me with.

“I learned perseverance, discipline, teamwork, leadership, and more about myself.

“To this day, they are my biggest cheerleaders. If you put in the work, you will reap the rewards. I am forever grateful.”

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