Our athlete of the week is Jude Gillespie! Jude had an amazing breakout race performance last week in the final race of the VAHS Mountain Bike series. He claimed his lead early off the line and held it, racing strong and finishing first. In doing so, he clinched enough points for fourth overall in the series. Jude’s season has been impressive, but arguably more impressive is the wide variety of racing and interests he’s been able to fit in at a young age!
Jude has been training with EF for the last three years. His mom was training and racing with EF when he took an interest in the program. After having tried wrestling and soccer, he was looking for something new. His first triathlon was the Robious Kids’ Triathlon, where he raced alongside other kids from Endorphin Fitness and had a great time. After that, he decided to join.
Since the age of four, Jude has been on two wheels. He raced in his first mountain bike race at the age of five, and completed his first triathlons when he was eight. Even at 11, he has a wide racing repertoire, including multiple triathlons, mountain bike races, competitive swimming, and a fifth place finish at Youth Tri Nationals in 2016. He is looking to try trail running as well as off-road triathlon, which he plans to race in as soon as he’s eligible for entry.
Endorphin Fitness has been hugely important to Jude’s personal development and his development as an athlete. He says that the training has taught him to be tough and push through the pain of training by knowing that there is a joy in victory that lies ahead. It’s helped him be more disciplined even in things like his homework, knowing that it will all pay off.
Jude has been accomplishing the goals he set for himself this season already, achieving first place at the State Championships of the VAHS MTB series, now he’s focusing his attention to training for Youth Mountain Bike Nationals this summer. He also hopes to work in trail running at some point, in keeping with his love of trying new things.
Jude’s advice to beginners is to take it slowly and not to be discouraged if you don’t get what you want right away. It comes with patience and practice, and you have to work for it. Jude’s been very diligent in putting in the work, even in a variety of disciplines- way to go Jude!