The long road to Boston

In less than a week, three Indigenous runners from some of the country’s most remote communities will exchange the vast Australia landscape for the streets of Boston as they tackle the 2012 Boston Marathon.

Kelsey Youngblutt from Palm Island (QLD), Tegan Pigram from Derby (WA) and Jamie Wanungmurra from Yirrkala (NT) began their journey to the start line of the 42 km race in April last year when Rob de Castella and his Indigenous Marathon Project conducted a national tryout tour.

From this, 20 promising runners were selected as part of the 2011 New York Marathon squad, and while these three runners didn’t make it to New York, they have spent countless hour training and preparing for the chance to represent Indigenous Australia in the world’s oldest marathon.

“The journey to the start line for these runners has not been an easy one”, de Castella said. “They have had many obstacles to overcome, but this is a significant achievement for each of them, their families and their communities.”

The three runners each successfully completed a 30 kilometre test run in February as part of the Stromlo 30km Lightning Strike, and along with other IMP squad members, have completed units of competence towards obtaining a Certificate III in Community Recreation and have learnt skills that they can now take back to their communities.

 “The runners that we have already seen some through the Indigenous Marathon Project have changed their lives and inspired thousands of Indigenous Australia’s to be more physically active and live a healthier lifestyle,” de Castella said. “I have absolutely no doubt that these runners will do the same.”

The team will travel to Sydney tomorrow for final preparations before flying to Boston on Friday.

For more information, please contact Laura Oldfield on (02) 6260 5750 or 0438 523 543