Run­ner to com­pete in New York Marathon

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

A Kar­ratha run­ner has qual­i­fied for a place at the start­ing line of the world’s largest marathon af­ter com­plet­ing a gru­elling test run through the Australian desert.

Natasha Shires was one of 11 run­ners se­lected ear­lier this year to train for the New York City Marathon as part of the 2017 Indige­nous Marathon Project, and had to earn se­lec­tion by com­plet­ing a 30km trial run in Alice Springs this month — the long­est dis­tance the run­ners have taken on so far.

She fin­ished in a time of 3hr 30min. 57sec., mak­ing the team bound for New York. Shires said she had been con­cerned about whether she would fin­ish the run and bat­tled some doubts along the way, but was proud of her­self for per­sist­ing.

“It was all about de­ter­mi­na­tion and courage to com­plete it and fin­ish it,” she said.

“Once you start some­thing, the job is to com­plete and get it done.”

The Indige­nous Marathon Project trains indige­nous peo­ple from be­gin­ner to marathon-run­ner level in six months to pro­mote healthy lifestyle choices, re­silience and suc­cess.

Fi­nal se­lec­tion in­cludes com­plet­ing a health ed­u­ca­tion com­po­nent, which this year fea­tured a course in Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der men­tal health and first aid for the first time.

Indige­nous Marathon Foun­da­tion direc­tor Rob de Castella said the qual­i­fy­ing run had been a huge chal­lenge for squad mem­bers.

“It tested them phys­i­cally, men­tally and emo­tion­ally, but their spirit and pur­pose was so strong,” he said.

“They’ve now got just six weeks to recover, and get ready for the 42km, and I have to­tal con­fi­dence they will smash their marathons.”

Shires and the other run­ners who are part of the project will take on the New York City Marathon on Novem­ber 5.

Pic­ture: Jen­nifer Minns Pho­tog­ra­phy

Kar­ratha run­ner Natasha Shires, left, will take on the New York City Marathon in Novem­ber as part of the Indige­nous Marathon Project. Pic­tured with her are fel­low WA run­ners who are part of the project Scott Cox, Luke Reidy and Al­lirra Win­mar.

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