Indigenous women take on the New York City marathon – media release


Indigneous marathon runners outside Parliament House

The first ever Indigenous Australian female team to run the New York City Marathon are currently training at the AIS in Canberra.

Under the guidance of former world champion marathon runner, Rob de Castella, the eight incredible young women will be put through their paces at the intensive training camp, and will leave one step closer to running the world’s most famous marathon.

Some of the young women have flown in from tiny remote communities such as Maningrida, Weipa and Palm Island, and they were treated to the coldest May 6th on record for their early morning run up Mt Ainslie, Canberra.

Tahli Raftery, Bianca Graham, Nadine Hunt, Sam Shephard, Tegan Pigram, Beth Ali, Bridgette Williams and Kelsey Youngblutt have demonstrated incredible natural talent and are having a great time getting to know one another and share in this once in a life time opportunity.

Indigenous marathon project runners

Indigenous marathon project runners

Rob de Castella, with manager and coach, Tim Rowe, are training the young women for the physical and mental challenges that lie ahead.

The team will be participating in the 10km run in the Canberra Mother’s Day Classic on Sunday 8th May, putting their training into practice and making their mothers proud.

The great atmosphere will allow them to experience the excitement that comes with large running events, and demonstrate the culture that is distance running.

“These young Indigenous women are following the footsteps of the four Indigenous men who ran the New York City Marathon last year,” de Castella said, “They are sending a powerful message to Indigenous Australia and reinforcing our slogan; If you can run a marathon you can do anything.”

The Marathon Project athletes are studying towards a Certificate III in Community Recreation (Indigenous Healthy Living) which will assist them in obtaining employment within the sporting domain.

The Indigenous Marathon Project would like to acknowledge that it receives funding from the Australian Government to support the promotion of this health education initiative, to assist Indigenous Communities to promote running, smoke-free, healthy lifestyles, and to complement existing Indigenous community health initiatives.

Visit the Marathon Project for more info and click to follow the Marathon Project on Facebook and Twitter for latest news.


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