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Elise Hull is on the run for Indigenous Marathon Project by Bruce Andrews

T

he recent bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon have not dampened the enthusiasm of a Charles Sturt University (CSU) runner who has been selected to join the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP). Ms Elise Hull, a Bachelor of Arts student and Indigenous resource officer in the CSU Division of Student Learning (http://www.csu. edu.au/division/lts/home/page ) in Bathurst, is looking forward to competing in the New York City Marathon this November and has been training conscientiously since her selection in March for the IMP. “As an Indigenous student and staff member of Charles Sturt University, I am looking forward to representing the University and the Bathurst community,” Ms Hull said. “I hope this project will inspire people in both my work and personal life to get fit and get healthy, because good health is everybody’s business.” With Australian marathon champion Mr Robert de Castella as Project Director, the IMP (http:// imp.org.au/ ) aims to promote healthy and active lifestyles in Indigenous communities. The 2103 IMP squad of six men and six women is training to run in the world-famous New York City Marathon (40 000 competitors and 2 million spectators) which is held each November. When the call for applicants went out for this year’s IMP squad, Ms Hull attended a try-out in Sydney with over 100 Indigenous men and women from various communities and walks of life. Under the guidance of Mr de Castella, the squad spends seven

Elisa Hull in her Indigenous Marathon Project running gear. Image supplied

months training for this event and attending training camps held across Australia. During these training camps, the squad completes a Certificate IV in Health and Leisure. This helps the athletes with their running goals, and also gives them tools to become healthy leaders and role models within their communities to promote health and physical exercise to address health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and renal failure. “I feel so privileged and humbled to have been selected as a member of the IMP squad for 2013,” Ms Hull said. “Around six months ago, I was approached by a friend who wanted to change her health for the better. She had decided to start running and, despite living in different towns, asked if I would be her jogging buddy. I agreed and over a few months we completed the Couch to 5K program. As busy mothers it suited us perfectly;

running was relatively cheap (all you need is a good pair of joggers!) and it fit in with our schedules. In those six months, I’ve gone from running 30 second intervals to running over 10 kilometres. Together, we’ve completed the Colour Run in Sydney, the Hotel Canobolas five kilometres (Orange Colour City Running Festival), and huffed and puffed our way up Mount Canobolas in the recent Great Volcanic Mountain Challenge (11 kilometres). “While we have more fun runs planned throughout the year, it’s not just about racing - I’ve fallen in love with running. It’s great for stress release, it’s great for health and fitness, but it’s also got my four year-old daughter interested in being healthy and active. I believe as parents we need to incorporate healthy activities in our everyday life to demonstrate to our children the importance of being healthy.”

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Elise Hull aims to run in New York