And in an emotional selection ceremony, each of them learnt that their incredible effort over the past six months earnt them a place at the start line of the 2017 New York City Marathon in November.
With temperatures soaring above 35 degrees, it was one of the toughest runs Deek and Head Coach, Adrian Dodson-Shaw, have put the IMP squad through.
“It was a hot, dry and lonely 30km run that started in pitch black at 5am, the longest run any of the squad has ever done,” Deek said.
“It tested them physically, mentally and emotionally, but their spirit and purpose was so strong. I couldn’t be more proud of the way each and every one of them rose to the challenge and demonstrated inspirational courage and strength.
“They’ve now got just six weeks to recover, and get ready for the 42km, and I have total confidence they will smash their marathons!”
The desert loop draws on the runners’ physical and mental strength, and a spiritual connection to the Alice Springs land is particularly symbolic.
Final squad times were:
|Zane Sparke, Port Macquarie, NSW||2:18:16||April Barry, Geelong, Vic||2:59:44|
|Tim Stephens, (Tj Cora) Cairns, Qld||2:29||Allirra Winmar, Perth, WA||3:14|
|Luke Reidy, Perth, WA||2:38:53||Natasha Shires, Karratha, WA||3:30:57|
|Roy Tilmouth, Alice Springs, NT||2:53:44||Maletta Seriat, Thursday Island, Qld||3:32|
|Scott Cox, Broome, WA||3:08:10||Cara Smith, Queanbeyan, NSW||4:07|
|Layne Brown, Warilla, NSW||4:05|
And – we are extremely excited to announce the entire squad will line up in the 2017 New York City Marathon!
As in previous years, a live commentary of the New York City Marathon will take place thanks to running commentary royalty and IMF ambassador, Dave “Robbo” Robertson. The commentary will be streamed through the IMF Facebook page and all details will be provided a little closer to the time.
It’s the perfect opportunity to stay updated on the runners’ progress as they start, and finish, their marathon year; literally and metaphorically.
Go get ‘em 2017 squad, we are so proud of you all!
C’mon Australia, let’s get behind this inspirational mob of Indigenous Australians who have already made us so proud. If you’re in New York and would like to join our free Supporters’ Run, click here to register your name and enjoy a special 5km social run through Central Park with the squad on Friday 3 November.
Six weeks to go! #RunSweatInspire