10 May 2023

From Aurukun to Athens: runner prepares for overseas marathon

| Samuel Davis
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Early starts are a struggle but Waynead Wolmby takes inspiration from others as he trains for marathons.

WAYNEAD Wolmby admits he has “marathon fever”.

“People always ask me why I do it but it’s just what I love,” the 21-year-old from Aurukun said.

“It’s good for your mood, your body, your mind.”

After joining the Indigenous Marathon Project last year, the Athens-bound runner is set to complete his third 42km race in Greece next month.

“I’m nervous. I can’t believe I’m going there to run a marathon in the country where it all started,” Wolmby said.

“It’s crazy. I’m running on dirt roads with kangaroos, snakes and emus in the bush.

“But it’s about inspiring other Indigenous Australians.

“I want them to think, ‘If Waynead Wolmby can do it, I can do it.’”

Ahead of his big run, Wolmby and PCYC Aurukun held a 12-hour walkathon to raise funds last week, with more than 90 community members walking almost 200km together.

So far, the event has raised more than $4000 in donations.

“The support and love was great,” Wolmby said.

“It’s nice to put Aurukun on the map and showcase what the community’s about.”

Recently, Wolmby has been inspired by the feats of inspirational Aussie Nedd Brockmann, who completed a 3800km run from Perth to Sydney earlier this month.

Brockmann’s 46-day run has raised around $2 million for Mobilise, a charity that helps those experiencing homelessness.

“It’s not easy waking up at 5.30am to do 20km but I’m obsessed with it,” Wolmby said.

“It can get hard but when you see what Ned Brockmann just did, that’s a big inspiration.

“Following him on Instagram was amazing. I think about the amount of pain he was suffering through sometimes when I run.”

The Athens Marathon takes place on Sunday, November 13.

“I’m thinking about going for four or five hours but it doesn’t matter,” he said.

“I love doing it. I’m built for it.”

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