Local competing to win spot in NYC Marathon
Just returning from the Sydney City to Surf fun run, local Sam Shephard said that five years ago she would not have picked herself as someone running in a marathon.
Now, at 20, Sam has been selected in the core squad and is in the running to be one of the 10 that head to the Big Apple this November to run in the world’s most famous race – The New York City Marathon.
Sam is now training with Australia’s best ever marathon runner, Rob de Castella and his Indigenous Marathon Project which annually trains young men and women to participate in the New York City Marathon, inspiring their family and communities in the process.
Last year, four young men were chosen to compete in New York, this year the project have introduced a female team where six men and four women will be selected.
The City to Surf was just the third of the four camps in which young men and women have been competing for the limited 10 spots.
A major part of the project is to promote healthy lifestyles and create role models within the runners’ communities.
“I have never competed in fun runs or marathons before, and I thought why not?” she said.
“It’s a great experience, you meet new people so I thought I would give it a go.”
Sam said while running in the 14km fun run in Sydney she was quiet scared of the Heartbreak Hill that everyone talks negatively about.
“But I really enjoyed the hill when I got to it, I found it really suited me, so by the time I got to the top I was still good to go so I sprinted the rest of the 5kms to the finish line, passing heaps of people,” she said.
“I didn’t think fun runs could be so big, but just in the Sydney run there was 85,000 people competing!”
Sam and the other 19 people who are trying for the 10 spots to attend the New York City Marathon will fly to Alice Springs in five weeks, where they will notified.
“Even if I don’t get chosen to go to New York, there is a marathon in Boston next year which I can try out for,” she said.
“Boston has more hills, which actually might suit me perfectly.”