Marathon to inspire

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Hellena Djiagween will run the New York Marathon in November.
Camera IconHellena Djiagween will run the New York Marathon in November.

When mother-of-two Hellena Djiagween runs one of the world’s largest marathons, she will be doing it to inspire young people from her community back home.

Djiagween, a Yawuru woman who works as a nurse in Port Hedland, was selected as one of 16 people nationwide for the Indigenous Marathon Project, a program training indigenous runners to compete in the New York City Marathon on November 1. Djiagween said she wanted to lead by example for her people.

“We have a high rate of suicide in our town as well, domestic violence and all of that,” she said.

“There are other ways to deal with stress, and to reach out as well.”

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Djiagween said there were pathways for young people in the community, and it was about encouraging them to reach out and better themselves.

The marathon had been a dream for five years.

“After graduating with nursing, I got caught up with mum life, and with work here and there, I didn’t have the chance to commit to it,” she said.

“This year was the year I was going to put myself out there, apply for a new job and apply for the marathon, and go with everything that came my way.”

Djiagween said the group was still training online and planning on doing runs on the lead-up to the marathon.

“We’re doing the corona marathon this week, a 10km for women and 15km for men, from our hometown,” she said.

“We have a half marathon in July, Alice Springs is after that in August, but that is still to be confirmed.”

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