Sport mourns tragic loss of talented all-rounder Kate Burge

Ever-smiling, the unassuming Kate Burge in a rare local appearance

Ever-smiling, the unassuming Kate Burge in a rare local appearance

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Once in a while, someone comes along who leaves an indelible impression on your life. Kate Burge was one of those people.

It is no doubt correct to say that in the three years since she settled in the island she made an impression on a lot people!

Kate took up a post as a senior physiotherapist at Noble’s Hospital in 2011 and has come into close contact with many hundreds of people since then.

They will remember her, because apart from her professional expertise and dedication she was a very happy, chatty person, always wanting to know what made people tick; congratulating them on their achievements or remarking on somebody else’s performances and successes.

She was too modest to talk of her own extensive palmares of athletic expertise.

A regular leading ranked performer on British Athletics’ Power of 10 rankings, the Stafford Harriers woman had a 10km best of 35min 47sec (good enough to win many a race outright in the Isle of Man), plus an equally impressive 10-mile time of 58m 27s.

Her five-mile best of 27.39 put her high in the UK rankings in 2003.

Kate was also a very strong cyclist and the combination of the two resulted in her finishing 10th in the ITU Duathlon World Championships in 1996. She became the UK’s standard distance elite class women’s duathlon champion the following year.

An excellent swimmer, she was also a very capable triathlete, winning the Shropshire UK Triathlon Championships in both 1994 and 1995 (other winners include Chrissie Wellington).

She also won many other events, the above are simply a few highlights.

A leg injury incurred while training on the fells shortly after she set foot in the island curtailed her running to a large extent.

She contested the odd fell event, but said that she paid for it the following day with excessive pain.

Instead Kate turned to cycling, swimming, yoga and numerous other physical pursuits. She approached them all with the same determination and seemed to have a built-in natural ability.

In short she was super fit.

As a popular addition to the Saturday morning scone run rides, she’d be as strong or stronger than anyone on a 50-mile ride, then she’d go to Ramsey pool and complete a masters training session.

She was an accomplished exponent of yoga and was local instructor Dave Smyth’s regular training partner.

This shining light was extinguished in a blink in what was a tragic, brutal accident in Kirk Michael on Monday evening when she and two of her dearest friends decided to ride the long way home to Laxey after a full day’s work.

God bless you Kate, it was an honour and a privilege to know you.

John Watterson

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