On Sunday 1 November, the 2015 squad embraced the skills, abilities and self-confidence they learnt over the past six months and applied them to the world’s largest marathon in one of the world’s biggest cities – a stark contrast to some of Australia’s (and the world’s) most remote communities.
The squad was part of a 50,000-strong starting line-up, heading off at 9:50am (1:50am AESDT) and after just 3hrs and 41minutes, Daniel Lloyd became the 44th IMP Graduate, finishing the marathon but starting something life-long; increasing the ripple effect right across the country.
It has been a self-transforming six months for the runners, who have overcome significant struggles and sacrifice to become beacons of inspiration for their families and communities.
Lloyd said the IMP experience has changed his life.
“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done! It’s so rewarding achieving this goal, I’m absolutely ecstatic.
“I tried out for the program last year and missed out. But I was determined to keep trying to earn my spot on the team. I helped establish Deadly Fun Runs in my local community, encouraged people to get active and healthy, and applied again in 2015.
“IMP is life changing. It teaches you the importance of discipline and commitment, and provides the tools to overcome life’s obstacles.
“I’m just so proud, and to see all of my team mates cross the line; it’s a very special and significant time,” he said.
The 2015 squad’s results at the marathon are:
|Daniel Lloyd NSW (Graduate No.44)||3:41:59|
|Chris Guyula, Gapuwiyak, NT (Graduate No. 45)||4:36:14|
|Harriet David, Cairns, QLD (Graduate No.46)||4:38:45|
|Jessica Lovett-Murray, Reservoir, VIC (Graduate No. 47)||5:11:08|
|Alicia Sabatino, Thursday Island, QLD (Graduate No.48)||5:11:08|
|John Leha, Marrickville, NSW (Graduate No.49)||5:54:40|
|Aaron West, Queanbeyan NSW (Graduate No.50)||6:11:42|
|Jacinta Gurruwiwi, Galiwinku, NT (Graduate No.51)||6:11:43|
|Eileen Byers, Casino, NSW (Graduate No.52)||6:11:43|
|Dawyne Jones, Timber Creek, NT (Graduate No.53)||6:32:19|
“Running a marathon is one of the hardest challenges you can do. It tests your mind, spirit and body. You really need to dig deep and find another level of self-belief to push through that mental struggle when you want to stop but have to keep going.
“The marathon is really a metaphor for life and this squad has certainly demonstrated that. They have endured personal struggles in their short lives that many of us don’t experience in a lifetime; but they keep going.
“They come from some of the country’s, and the world’s, most remote areas and they train on difficult terrain in harsh environments.
“Each of our runners has had an immeasurable impact in their communities, spreading the positive benefits of leading an active and healthy lifestyle.
“We constantly remind the runners ‘The harder the struggle, the greater the reward’.
“IMP is about celebrating Indigenous resilience and achievement. This is at the core of what IMP is about and we will continue to drive this philosophy and build on it for the future.”
We are incredibly proud of the achievements of the next crop of Indigenous Australians who have pushed well beyond their comfort zone, battled resoundingly difficult circumstances and kept going when they had every reason to quit.
A special thank you to all of our supporters and sponsors who continue to invest their passion, enthusiasm and generosity into IMP and IMF to help change lives and inspire so many – your contribution is invaluable and so very much appreciated.