Fun run was ‘deadly’ thrill
MOSSMAN runners have pulled off a deadly performance at Uluru in the country’s red centre.
They were up against 23 other athletes ranging from ages seven to 56, and representing six Indigenous communities from across the country, descended on Uluru last weekend to take part in Australia’s first ever Indigenous running festival.
The Deadly Fun Run Series, part of Rob De Castella’s Indigenous Marathon Project, was launched late last year, in a push to promote healthy living, and increase participation in running in remote Indigenous communities where the sport was not previously recognised.
The three champions from Mossman were 45-year-old Julie Salam who finished first in the senior women’s event, Asta Naden was second and in the junior men’s event Mitchell Brim finished first.
De Castella has high hopes the event will feature annually on the running calendar, with ambitions of making it a major Indigenous running festival.
“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.
“Running and walking is not currently seen as a sport within many Indigenous communities.”
And winner Julie Salam agrees: “It meant a lot to me to be able to compete - winning was great too but it was more important to be a role model for the kids and to show them that they can do this and it’s fun and it’s a great way to stay healthy and meet new friends.
“Some of the young people really are naturally talented at many sports including running and we do need to get them involved a lot more and make them see that it is fun and a great social thing too.
“And there is a very real chance too that the best runners could find themselves being picked to one day compete in the famous New York marathon.”
“I would love to see a young indigenous runner compete in the New York marathon, it would be a fabulous achievement.”
The New York Marathon is a 26.2 mile run each November with up to 30,000 runners and it starts on Staten Island, at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and winds its way through the city.
The Deadly Fun Run Series and Championships were funded by the Indigenous Sport and Recreation Program, and aim to reduce smoking and the consumption of soft drink in Indigenous communities, while promoting healthy living.
Running in the shadow of Ayre’s Rock:
Nadine Hunt, Asta Naden, Wiley Thorburn, Melekai Williams, Mitchell Brim and Julie Salam