Deadly running

This week marks the inaugural Deadly Fun Run Championships at Uluru with Indigenous athletes from around Australia participating in the 3km run (for school aged boys & girls) & 5km event (for men & women). With competitors ages ranging from 7 to 56yrs the event is the first indigenous running festival held at Uluru.
Throughout 2012, in the build up to the championships, The Deadly Fun Run Series has been held around Australia. The series has been held in remote communities including Mossman, Yarrabah and Napranum in Queensland, Tennant Creek and Yirrkala in the Northern Territory, and Kununurra in Western Australia. Each community has held 4 runs to encourage locals to experience running and all the Deadly fun run seriesbenefits we get from it. To be selected as the ‘community champion’ to travel to Uluru & represent their community in the championships the runners must compete in all 4 fun run events in their community. This is a real strength of the program. Nadine Hunt, Deadly Fun Run co-ordinator said “the discipline & commitment is really important”, and “having to complete all 4 events motivates the runners to keep coming back, especially some of the kids”. Nadine, having completed the 2011 NYC marathon, knows exactly what it takes to succeed and how to support her fellow runners to enjoy their training and benefit from everything running can provide.

While the championships may not uncover any superstars in 2012 they are part of a much greater approach of improving the health of Indigenous Australians. All the participants in the Deadly Fun Runs are choosing healthy habits and becoming ambassadors & role models in their communities. This is where the real changes can happen as healthier lifestyles increase. In several years these very same runners could be training for the chance to run in New York or Boston as part of the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP). However the grassroots nature of this program is the real strength as a culture of running begins to develop. Australian running champion Robert de Castella commented “Running and walking is not currently seen as a sport within many Indigenous communities, and IMP looks to encourage participation through the presentation of medals for all participants.” Furthermore “the Deadly Fun Run Series has been all about communities owning their own fun runs, and highlighting community champions, all while promoting healthy living and community involvement,” De Castella said.


The Deadly Fun Run series is set to grow each year as additional venues are added to the fun run series. By 2015 there are plans for at least 18 community locations. Of course funding for such an extensive Deadly fun runundertaking is always going to be limited so the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) have established ‘Footprints’ to help raise much needed funds. Athletes around Australia can nominate the IMP through their Go Fundraise page for major events including the City to Surf, Gold Coast Running Festival etc. As part of the Footprints program the athletes can receive professional training programs and tips & advice from Deeks himself.

Corporate sponsorship is also part of the plans to expand the Deadly Fun Run series and grow the annual championships each year. Already Accor hotels have been great in helping develop the championships at Uluru and provide traineeships & work placements as well. Asics have also been a long term partner of the IMP. As the championships expand sponsored teams such as an Accor team or other companies can further expand the great work being done by Deeks, Nadine & the rest of the team at the marathon project. For more info head to

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