Runners make history on the Gold Coast

In a ground-breaking first, all 12 members of the 2014 Indigenous Marathon Project squad have crossed the finish line of their first two biggest runs, including the Gold Coast Half Marathon on Sunday 6 July.

The team’s first run was held in Canberra on 1 June which included a 10km run for the women and 15km for the men – the furthest most had ever run.
Just one month later, team members exceeded their own expectations by not only finishing, but crossing the line well ahead of their goal times.

Cairns representative, Brendan Peeters, crossed the half marathon line in an astonishing time of 84mins placing him 30th in his age category, just three weeks after he finished the Cairns Ironman.

In his first ever fun run, Dubbo representative and Western Region Light Middleweight champion, Nathan Riley, finished in 89 minutes.

Tony Daisy, who juggles training with her work commitments and being a single parent, crossed in 1:51:43.

Head Coach and Manager, Mick Rees, said it was an impressive display of physical and mental strength from the entire team.

“These runners could barely run a five kilometres a few months ago. Through sheer determination, sacrifice and following their training programs, they have all achieved something they never thought possible.

“We had one runner who was bed-ridden for a week and nearly didn’t make it to the Gold Coast, so to see her finish was incredible.

“The 2014 squad has made history and we couldn’t be more proud of what they have achieved in such a short amount of time. It’s phenomenal,” he said.

Indigenous Marathon Project Director, world marathon champion Rob de Castella, said the program is about more than running.

“Running is simply the vehicle to drive change, promote a healthy lifestyle and create inspirational role models within Indigenous communities Australia wide.

“By making healthy choices and being more active, this team has inspired their families, friends and communities, and found a self-belief that didn’t previously have.

“The passion and commitment of this team is remarkable, evidenced by the overwhelming support they continue to receive through social media channels, it’s gone crazy!

“To us, and the runners, that makes them all winners and it’s that same self-belief and determination that ignites a fire in each and every one of them to keep working hard and becoming inspirational role models in their communities,” de Castella said.

Members of this historic team have returned home to their communities to continue with their training program ahead of the third camp in Sydney for the iconic City 2 Surf in August.

Below is a list of all runners’ finishing times and placings.

The Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2010 and has mentored and trained 32 runners to finish the New York Marathon, Boston, and Tokyo.

The IMP relies on the generous support of the Australian Government Department of Health, Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport, Qantas, Accor, Good Oil Films and the generosity of the Australian public.