Newport News’ Sika Henry is blazing a trail for aspiring black professional triathletes

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Sika Henry's path to triathlons didn't start with a bike, nor did it begin on a running trail.

Sika Henry.

"I grew up doing just about every sport you can think of," Henry told News 3.

In high school, Henry, a New Jersey native, was a competitive swimmer for all four years. During her final year, she had the urge for a new challenge. "My senior year of high school, I tried out track and I fell in love with the high jump."

That one season turned into a walk-on opportunity at Tufts University. Henry went on to have an award-winning collegiate career, mainly as a high jumper. So how did a field competitor get into triathlons?

"I grew up right outside of New York City, my family and I would go into the city to watch the marathons," Henry said. "It's something really big that my Grandpa and I used to do and I always wanted to try it. It was like a bucket list thing."

Sika Henry (Courtesy: Princess Photography Studio)

A bucket list bullet point turned into a new passion. After college, Henry got into running to keep in shape. From there, came marathons. During her first one, she called a friend to come pick her up, but they did not pick up. She finished.

Since then, she's won two marathons, and now she is taking on the tall task of becoming a professional triathlete.

"I've always had this competitive drive and I've always wanted to see how good I could be at something," Henry said. "Whether its at work or with a project, I always give 100%, I always kind of up it up a notch whenever I do something."

While she strives to be the first African-American woman to break into the professional level, Sika hopes to see more people push themselves past inner doubt.

"I think people would shock themselves with what they're capable of. I think the human body is remarkable," Henry said. "I think people should not doubt themselves and give it a try and focus on their goals."

Henry is an ambassador for the upcoming One City Marathon in Newport News. You can use her code "SAVE5" to save $5 on registration.

To view Henry's running blog, click here.

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