JESSE Thompson continues to build towards running in the famous New York Marathon with only five months to go before the starting gun sounds on November 6.
Mr Thompson, 24, of Hassall Grove is running as part of the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP), which aims to help break the cycle of physical and social issues in Indigenous communities.
The Sydney University student finished seventh in his age group at the Gold Coast half-marathon on Sunday in a time of one hour 14 minutes and 35 seconds.
He said the race was a big step in his preparations for New York.
“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to run a sub one hour 15 minute run,” he said. “I’m feeling really good about how I’m coming along.”
Mr Thompson is one of 12 Indigenous runners taking part in the IMP this year. He said his next major event was the City2Surf in August before the final 30km trial run in Alice Springs in September.
“You have to get through the run in Alice Springs to gain selection for New York but I’m confident I will make it this year,” he said.
“To go from Mount Druitt to New York would be a massive thing for me. I tried out last year but didn’t make it.
“The New York Marathon is the biggest one there is and it would be amazing to get there.”
A proud Ngunnawal man, Mr Thompson said he wants to inspire the next generation of Indigenous people to live a more healthy lifestyle.
“We’ve all got our own story and background but the important this is what we do next,” he said.
“Programs like IMP are helping to close the gap in terms of health outcomes and chronic diseases. But there is still a lot of work to be done.
“Growing up where I did I’ve seen the effects of drugs and alcohol on our community and I want to stand up for my generation.”