Deek on the seek for new generation of runners

Marathon great Robert de Castella is looking for his new squad of Indigenous runners to tackle the iconic New York Marathon.

De Castella’s Indigenous Marathon Foundation announced this week that applications are now open for the 2017 New York marathon challenge.

The foundation is looking for 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders to train as distance runners for the run which is held in November.

The Indigenous Marathon Project, a core program of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation, is open to all Indigenous Australians aged 18-30.

No prior running experience is needed.

Successful applicants will have six months to train for the New York City Marathon with Adrian Dodson-Shaw, a participant in the 2014 project, and de Castella as guides.

“I’m really looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in getting a new squad ready for the NYC marathon start line, and helping them step up and become young leaders,’’ Dodson-Shaw said.

De Castella said joining the project would bring huge challenges to the 12 successful recruits.

“The marathon is one of the hardest things anyone can do, and doing it in just six months is amazing.,” he said.

“Doing it from no running and from remote and isolated parts of the country is an incredible test of character and determination.”

The national tour in March will visit communities around Australia and select six men and six women in a trial that includes a 3km run for women and 5km run for men, in addition to an interview.

The group will also be expected to complete a Certificate III in Fitness, First Aid qualification and Level 1 Recreational Running accreditation as part of the project’s education component.

There were a record number of applications in 2016, as reported last week in the National Indigenous Times.

Applications can be made online or a form can be downloaded from the website

Wendy Caccetta

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