Indigenous Marathon Project runner Wade Mongta of Bodalla on the Far South Coast had a good run in the Sydney City2Surf and now heads back to Alice Springs hoping to be selected for the final squad to run in the New York City Marathon.
Even the infamous Heartbreak Hill couldn’t break Mongta’s spirit. “What Heartbreak Hill? I didn’t even notice it,” said a cheeky Wade, who finished his run in a speedy 1:09.
From the beach to the desert, after outstanding success in the Sydney City2Surf the 2016 Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) squad is now preparing for their biggest challenge yet; a 30km qualification run through Alice Springs.
The IMP is a core program of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF), a charity organisation established by world champion marathon runner, Rob de Castella, which uses running to drive change, celebrate Indigenous resilience and achievement, and empower Indigenous Australians.
Each year a squad of 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island men and women aged 18-30 are selected to train for the world famous New York City Marathon with just six months of training.
It is also compulsory for all members of the squad to complete a Certificate III in Fitness to provide the skills, knowledge and ability to establish running and fitness groups and encourage active, healthy lifestyles in their communities.
The City2Surf coincides with the squad’s third camp and they dominated the field with Mt Druitt local Jesse Thompson finishing the 14km event in a blistering time of 51:54.
The squad will now prepare for their fourth and final training camp in Alice Springs, which includes their 30km on September 25. This run will determine the final squad to line up in the New York Marathon.
The IMF relies on the generous support of the Australian Government Department of Health, Qantas, ASICS, Accor, Good Oil Films and the generosity of the Australian public.