Out of the Blue | Kate Lees | Presented by Schrader’s
By Jeff McConkey
Name: Kate Lees
Birthday: October 3rd
Hometown: Carlyle, SK
School: Nursing School in Regina
Number: 73 (Nationally #10)
Race Club: SCRC,SMA, MMA, CDNWMX
Class: B Class, Youth, Ladies
Who got you get started in racing?
My dad and my brother! My older brother raced and when he passed away I became more interested in it all – that’s kind of why I stayed in the sport until I started actually loving it and enjoying it.
As a little girl, were you a ‘girly’ girl, or a ‘tomboy?’
Tom boy. Definitely. I grew up with boys my whole life, pretty sure I didn’t have my first female friend until I was in school.
Is there one female out there who you think has paved the way for girls to be successful in the sport?
As a racer, are there any obstacles that you feel a female racer has to deal with ,that maybe a male racer doesn’t? I think there’s pretty obvious anatomical and physiological differences that cause pretty major challenges compared to men.
Who do you like racing against better, the girls or boys?
I can’t make that decision! I love racing with the girls because of the sportsmanship. I love the family feeling I get with the girls. However, I love how intense battles can get with the guys – and in total honesty, there is not a lot of things better than beating a guy who can’t stand racing a girl.
Who is your favourite female rider and why?
Denaye Arnett – she’s definitely been a huge inspiration to me growing up and I feel like she’s really shown how much you need to work for the things you want – including running a series.
Is there a person you look up to and why?
My Grandma – she just turned 96 recently, she is pretty much blind and I honestly can’t get enough of her. She is so sassy and so real and I love her so much. When I called her after Kamloops to tell her I got 5th overall she literally said to me “Oh. Well that’s alright. I thought you’d be doing better though”. It doesn’t matter how hurt I get or how long I’m out for, she constantly encourages me to come back and win – and that’s the type of person I want to be. She knows I love this sport and I wouldn’t be the same without it.
Do you have a “can’t miss” race, or event that you try to attend every season?
My hometown race in Carlyle, we have two races every year. Unfortunately, the first one I raced with a cast on and had strict doctor’s orders that I wasn’t allowed to jump anything and a week before the second race I broke my ankle. So I still showed up to run transponders but I was pretty bummed to miss out on such a mint track.
Who is your hero?
My brother. This March will be 10 years since he passed away. I can honestly say I wouldn’t be this deep and this in love with this sport if it wasn’t for him. I wouldn’t be nearly the same person I am today without him. He’s definitely my hero.
What are your plans and goals for the 2018 season?
STAY HEALTHY. I am SO SICK of being hurt. I don’t have anything set in stone right now. I plan on racing nationals and the same local stuff I always do, but it will completely depend on how my ankle holds up and heals. Right now
I’m just doing physio, trying to get back into school and taking things day by day.
What are your biggest accomplishments to date?
My #9 the first year at nationals in 2015. Top 5 at both the nationals I raced in 2017. The Hard Charger award in PG when I went from basically dead last to 6th. But most importantly, my biggest accomplishment has been encouraging
other girls to try this sport and fall in love with it.
What is the biggest lesson that racing motocross has taught you so far?
To be myself. To stand up for what I believe in. Motocross has taught me how truly strong I am and how resilient I can be. It’s taught me not to take things so seriously. I could keep going on forever.
Most female racers leave the sport much earlier then male racers, why do you think that is?
I think starting a family has a huge play in that, but also I think, on average, women motocross racers are smart
(and think WAY too much) so I think they want to be able to create a life outside of motocross before they are too injured or broke.
Do you think it is possible for us to ever see a female Supercross champion?
No. I’d love it. But no.
If you ever have children, will they be motocross racers?
If I ever do, yeah, I would love that.
Who do you want to thank?
Moose Mountain Leisure, Kimpex, Team Green Canada, RMR Suspensions, Kelly’s Hot Shot, AMP, KSM, Blackheart Mx, Lees Oilfield, my mom and dad, my friends and everyone who has supported me in this insane journey.