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Sport

22 August, 2021

Eager for the next challenge

COVID lockdown may have prematurely ended the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) training weekend in Cairns, however for Girramay and Gooreng Gooreng woman and Cairns local Rachel Dean the weekend was a high point and great success.

By Peter McCullagh

COVID lockdown may have prematurely ended the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP) training weekend in Cairns, however for Girramay and Gooreng Gooreng woman and Cairns local Rachel Dean the weekend was a high point and great success.

“It was a great weekend and learning experience for me.”

The key focus of the weekend was the completion of the 25-kilometre run on the Saturday morning.

Entering the weekend facing their toughest and longest run to date in the project Dean felt she was better prepared physically and psychologically for the challenges of the run.

“In the days leading up to the weekend and not just the morning of the run, I spent a great deal of time talking positively to myself, how far I had come, and my strengths, all so I could perform at my best.”

In four weeks’ time Dean will face the 30 kilometre test, a trial designed to gauge each athletes’ ability to make the start line for a marathon (42.2KM).

“The 30-kilometre run will allow our coach (Damian Tuck) and Robert de Castella will take note how we go physically, emotionally and psychologically, and if we can actually do a marathon.”

The next training weekend will be held in Darwin, COVID permitting, and Dean is feeling confident as she prepares for this weekend.

“I felt strong at the end of my 25-kilometre run, my final kilometre was actually my fastest split of all my sets. I finished strong and really felt I could have gone on for a further 5 kilometres.

“I feel I am there (capable of running a 30 kilometre), physically and emotionally and mentally.

“I pulled up sore after the run but with our active recovery program I’ve come through strongly.”

The IMP is working with indigenous athletes across Australia, developing their marathon skills as well as completing components of the Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership and Health Promotion facilitated by the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre and complete a Level 1 Recreational Running Coach course.

The Foundation was established by Australian four-time Olympian Robert De Castella who explained that the IMP is not about winning on the world stage, it is about far more. It is about being the inspiration and leaders to change lives and drive positive change.

Running takes you beyond the superficiality of discomfort requiring you to draw upon your purpose and something deep inside you to do what you have to do.”

 

 


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