When New York City made the decision to cancel its annual Marathon on Friday, eight runners in particular were extremely disappointed. After all, they’d traveled all the way from Australia. But despite the disappointment, they’ve volunteered to help the city recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy.
The eight runners are Aboriginal, and part of the Indigenous Marathon Project (IMP), which aims to change lives by creating role models to promote healthy lifestyles and improve fitness in Aboriginal townships, Australia’s most disadvantaged communities, reports the AFP news service. The six men and two women, hand-picked as part of a program to create a potential Aboriginal distance running champion, had endured unusual training regimes, including dodging wild dogs and crocodiles on their outback runs.
According to AFP, the eight Australians will remain in the city until Tuesday as originally planned and will volunteer with local organizations such as homeless shelters to help with the clean-up process.