He’s only just passed his 11th birthday, but already Nandeli Pelembe is proving a force to be reckoned with when it comes to running on St Helena.
He won the 2012 Festival of Running 3-kilometre race in 20 mins and 32 seconds – nearly two minutes ahead of second-placed Julian Morris (22:22), and three minutes ahead of his own parents.
He wasn’t the only youngster to leave adult runners gasping. Aiden Yon-Stevens cross the line in fifth place – at the age of just seven.
His time of 25:36 put him 12 seconds clear of adult runner Mike Dean – who happens to be director of the tourism department, which has staged the festival (to be fair, he’s also a little older than Aiden).
For Nandeli, it was the second prominent race win. He also ran the race through Jamestown on St Helena Day, beating veteran runner Paul Blessington, on a tough course that climbed Side Path and dropped down to the hospital and back to the seafront.
He ran the 2.5-mile course in 23 minutes and 42 seconds.
On Tuesday’s Festival 3K, Julian Morris prevented the Pelembe family claiming all the medal positions.
Anselmo Pelembe, who is from Mozambique, finished third in 23:48, with wife Tara – Nandeli’s mother – coming in fourth in 24:44.
Tara, who is the daughter of island historians Basil and Barbara George, has been seconded by a government agency in the UK to head St Helena’s new Environmental Management Directorate.
Nandeli had been running for his primary school in the UK before the family moved out to the island. He turned 11 in April.
Results of the 10K race, which took place at the same time on Tuesday, will appear on this site soon.
New women’s record in St Helena marathon