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Keifer Yu with his medal after completing the New York City Marathon.
Camera IconKeifer Yu with his medal after completing the New York City Marathon. Credit: Laura White, Indigenous Marathon Foundation

Months of training, blood, sweat and tears has paid off for Keifer Yu in a big way, after completing the ever-challenging New York City Marathon in less than four hours earlier this month.

When the former Claremont Tiger wasn’t on the football field for the Cable Beach Greenbacks or working as a youth mentor with the Wirrpanda Foundation, Yu was taking part in the Indigenous Marathon Project alongside other indigenous men and women from all over Australia.

The project saw 12 indigenous Australians participating in workshops and long distance running training throughout the year, culminating in a trip to the Big Apple.

Yu, who finished the marathon with a time of 3:58:26, said he felt relieved and quite emotional to complete the challenge.

“I feel overwhelmed by the whole experience and journey,” he said.

“I really enjoyed the first half of the marathon, running through Brooklyn and Queens was a lot of fun.

“Seeing all the different types of people running, I saw a lot of older people running past me which was amazing.

“When I played football, the older you got, the slower you got but with running, as long as you keep up the work, you can keep going.”

While he was unsure if he hit the proverbial “wall” during his run, Yu said he thought about his family to keep himself going.

“My idea of the wall was that you just can’t go anymore but I just thought about my daughter, my partner and my nephew that passed away,” he said.

“I must admit it started getting tough at the 35km mark coming up the hill alongside Central Park.”

In the lead-up to the big run in the Big Apple, Yu said it was pretty special to train alongside his fellow IMP squad members throughout 2019.

“Getting to know the whole squad and other graduates and hearing their stories and why they decided to sign up, it made me feel privileged to be a part of it and share the journey with them,” he said.

Yu said he was excited to return home to his family.

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