ActewAGL boss to run the Boston Marathon

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She said she wanted to empower women to achieve their goals, and is fundraising for Emma and Loren to make the trip and encouraging them every step of the way.

“I’ve been involved with the program since then and witnessed first-hand the transformation this program makes,” she said.

“A lot of people have changed their mental and physical health and gone on to be role models for their community. Running is just so powerful.”

The Boston Marathon will be her third marathon, with the mother-of-two also having completed the Tokyo Marathon in 2017.

Loren Fejo and Emma Cameron are running the Boston marathon alongisde  Ayesha Razzaq.

Loren Fejo and Emma Cameron are running the Boston marathon alongisde  Ayesha Razzaq.

“I only do them every couple of years because I’m not a natural runner and this is extremely difficult and challenging for me as well,” she said.

Ms Razzaq hopes to raise $42,195, reflecting the marathon’s distance of 42.195km. Donations can be made at boston.gofundraise.com.au.

“My hope is that the Boston Marathon experience provides both Emma and Loren a chance to build their confidence and prove to themselves that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to,” she said.

Mr de Castella, a former world champion marathon runner, said the two women competing with Ms Razzaq were inspiring.

Emma Cameron competed in the 2013 Boston Marathon and had reached the 40-kilometre mark when the race was called off. Two bombs had exploded at the finish line, killing three people and injuring hundreds more.

“She never got to cross the finish line in Boston,” Mr de Castella said.

“She’s from a little community called Jabiru up in the Kakadu National Park [in the Northern Territory] and has been training all through the wet season because she really has this unmet need to finish what she started.”

The other woman competing is Loren Fejo, from Darwin, who was in the Indigenous Marathon Project squad last year but couldn’t reach fitness level in time for the New York Marathon.

ActewAGL general manager retail Ayesha Razzaq with Indigenous Marathon Foundation directo Robert de Castella and local Deadly Runners Cara Smith, Jess Martin, Jess Skipper, Denis Reid, Tamsin Porter and Louise Lippitt. Photo Elesa Kurtz

ActewAGL general manager retail Ayesha Razzaq with Indigenous Marathon Foundation directo Robert de Castella and local Deadly Runners Cara Smith, Jess Martin, Jess Skipper, Denis Reid, Tamsin Porter and Louise Lippitt. Photo Elesa KurtzCredit:Elesa Kurtz

“She’s a single mother with three kids, two of whom are autistic,” Mr de Castella said.

“She has also been battling the humidity and the summer in Darwin to get the mileage and the training while juggling her family and work commitments.

“Those two will be really supported and mentored by this amazing lady [Ms Razzaq]. Someone with Ayesha’s background and profile and experience is able to really inspire our women, even beyond the running side of it.”

Mr De Castella competed in two Boston Marathons, winning one in 1986 in two hours, seven minutes and 51 seconds – still an Australian record.

He said it was all about runners supporting each other when it came to tackling the feat.

“Coming into the marathon, your anxiety is very high. You’re about to do something which is pretty scary and to have Ayesha there, who’s been there and done it before, will be really valuable support for them,” he said.

Megan Doherty is a reporter for The Canberra Times

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