Indigenous athlete defies Boston terrorists to run marathon

When the Boston bombs went off at the finish line of the marathon in April, Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) runner Emma Cameron was at the 40km mark of the race. Organisers stopped all runners at the 41km mark, and Emma’s aspirations of finishing her first marathon were dashed. When the Darwin-based athlete lines up at the start of the Melbourne Marathon on October 13, she hopes that after tackling the 42.195km course, she will finally be able to call herself a marathoner. Cameron, 31, was selected in March last year to train for the New York Marathon as part of Rob de Castella’s IMP, but was forced to the sidelines following a knee injury. Instead she was given the opportunity to run Boston, but again missed out on the chance to cross the finish line. The determined runner said her preparation for Melbourne was well on track, but like any athlete, she had experienced a mix of good and bad days.  “Training this time around has been a really positive experience because I know what I am capable of, and what I have overcome in the past,” she said. “I love the feeling of knowing that I am stronger, both physically and mentally, and I am really proud that my achievements are being used to set a good example for my family and friends, and for the younger Indigenous generation.” IMP founder and World Champion marathon runner Rob de Castella, who was in Boston with Emma at the time of the bombings, said the courage and determination he had witnessed in the athlete, both in Boston and throughout her training, was inspirational. “I am extremely proud of how Emma has handled the obstacles that have been thrown at her. Finishing your first marathon is an incredibly emotional experience and for Emma that experience has been delayed but through that delay, the emotion will be magnified,” he said. “Emma has faced huge challenges, from watching her team mates go to New York and then the disappointment of Boston, but this marathon will change her life. She will realise that if she puts her mind to it, she really can achieve anything she wants in life.” To acknowledge Emma’s determination and spirit, she will be joined at the 41km mark by a team of 20 IMP supporters who will run alongside her into the MCG as she heads towards the finish line and earns herself the coveted title of marathon runner. Emma and Rob will be in Melbourne on the Friday prior to the marathon and will be available for media opportunities. For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Laura Oldfield on (02) 6162 4750 or 0438 523 543.