Indigenous Marathon Project run the New York marathon again in 2011

History will once again be made in New York by the team at the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) led by Australian marathon legend Robert de Castella.

Starting at 9:40 am on Sunday the 6th November (or early Monday morning for everyone in Australia) 11 amazing Indigenous athletes will participate in their first ever marathon… and not just any marathon; the 2011 ING New York City Marathon.Indigenous Marathon NYC 2011

The team were selected from hundreds of applicants around the country and melded into a squad of 18 who have trained in some of the most remote and inhospitable parts of Australia including Yirrkala in the NT, Derby (WA), Weipa (Qld) and Cooper Pedy (SA).

Through outback runs, training camps, the City to Surf and other selection trials the final team of 11 were chosen to represent their people and community in New York.

The team have overcome the tough environmental conditions, lack of resources and training facilities but have adapted to the demands of training & travelling. But all this would feel a world away now as the team have been acclimatising to the chilly temperatures in New York the last few days as they prepare for the biggest test of their lives. Running through the bustling streets of New York in front of an expected 2.5million spectators will be the start of much more.

More than 45,000 runners will take part but it is the 4 women from the IMP who will be making history as the first ever female Indigenous team to compete in the prestigious marathon.

The 2011 mens team follow in the footsteps of the first IMP team who competed last year. The 4 men from 2010, Juan Darwin, Joseph Davies, Caleb Hart & Charlie Maher, from Maningrida, Kununurra & Alice Springs all completed their first marathon in fine form and have paved the way for future IMP teams to redevelop a culture of running, health & fitness in their communities.

The 2011 team areIndigenous Marathon Project


Bianca Graham, Weipa, QLD
Nadine Hunt, Cairns, QLD
Sam Shepherd, Karratha, WA
Bridgette Williams, Mt Gravatt, QLD


Patrick Keain, Cooper Pedy, SA
Arian Pearson, Yirrkala, NT
Michael Purcell, Charleville, QLD
Kiwa Schilling, Kanmantoo, SA
Caine Schofield, Sunbury, VIC
Reggie Smith, Alice Springs, NT
Nathan Sutherland, Orange, NSW

One of the aims of the IMP is to help address chronic disease, obesity and social problems in parts of indigenous Australia. As part of the program the IMP athletes complete a Certificate III in Health and community recreation, empowering them to pass on the valuable lessons and healthy practices they have learnt and displayed in the months of hard training and study.

As well as tackling the poor state of Indigenous health in Australia at the grass roots level de Castella aims to uncover elite indigenous runners claiming he’d like to develop an indigenous runner for the 2016 Olympics. It’s an ambitious task but if anyone in Australia has the ability it is Australia’s most famous marathon champion.

Tune into SBS One today (6th Nov) at 4:30pm, or SBS at 5:30pm on Mon 7th to follow the teams progress in New York, or follow on Banzai for all the updated results of the 2011 ING New York Marathon.

For more information on the Indigenous Marathon Project and all the great work by Robert de Castella and the rest of the team visit the website


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