Wade Mongta, a former Moruya Student, is a Marathon Runner and mentor to Indigenous students at Moruya High School and was recently featured in a story that appeared in Batemans Bay Post/Moruya Examiner newspaper. Read the story below:
It’s the city that never sleeps, and on Monday, Bodalla’s Wade Mongta was central to the action as he completed the New York marathon.
Wade ran the 42km in a time of 4 hours, 18 minutes and 58 seconds, just over two hours behind winner Ghirmay Ghebreslassie.
The 19—year-old was one of l2 Aboriginal men and women selected for the race as part of the Indigenous Marathon Project and travelled overseas for the first time to take part in the iconic race.
He joined a ﬁeld of more than 50,000 runners, with thousands mane supporters lining the streets to streets to cheer them on.
Wade said he was blown away by the experience.
“The atmosphere was better than anything I could’ve imagined,” he said.
“All the spectators who came out to watch really spurred me on to the finish.”
It was the culmination of six months training for Wade and his IMP counterparts, who have been working towards the marathon since May.
Their preparation has included the City to Surf fun run, the Gold Coast Half Marathon, and a 30km test run at Alice Springs in September.
Mongta said the journey he has shared with the other members of the squad meant he was well-equipped to deal with the final step of the project.
“I was pretty calm before the race.” he said.
“I’d put all the hard work in so I just needed to back myself.”
“I was competing with 11 other runners from Australia who were all there for the same purpose, so I knew they had my back as well.”
“It was the best feeling in the world when I crossed the finish line.”
The day was of special significance to Indigenous Marathon Foundation director and former world champion runner, Rob de Gastella, who travelled to New York with the group.
He commended the 2016 group on their achievements throughout the year.
“There Is no place like New York, and there is no run anywhere on the planet like the famous New York C1ty Marathon,” Rob said.
“It is one of the biggest, most exciting and toughest marathons, so it’s an extraordinary achievement for all 12 runners to qualify to run it.”
These 12 young Indigenous leaders are following in the footsteps of 53 other Indigenous Marathon Project Graduates, who since 2010, have ignited a culture of distance running across Indigenons Australia.
“I am so excited to again see a group of amazing Australians pass this massive physical, emotional and spiritual test.”
The IMP is a program of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF), a not-for-profit foundation established in 2010.
Each year IMP selects a squad of young Indigenous men and women (aged 18 to 30 years), to train for the New York City Marathon, complete a compulsory education component — a certificate III in Fitness – and through their achievements celebrate Indigenous resilience and success.
BY SEAN SLATTER