The Deadly Runners' Story
Deadly Runners was started by Georgia Weir, who used her own experiences to create a movement changing the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the power of running.
Running has had a profound impact on me. I have battled with mental health and addiction my whole life and in 2012 I tried running as I was desperately looking for something that would help me cope and manage, and it did!
In 2013 I ran the New York Marathon after 6 months of training. This was a life-changing experience. At this point, running had such a positive impact on my mental health that I obtained my Cert IV in Fitness and Athletics Coaching and started a running group in my hometown of Queanbeyan NSW and we called ourselves the Deadly Runners.
"From the start my intention was simple, I wanted to give my people the opportunity to feel how running made me feel."
I wanted to give them access to free professional coaching. This was aimed at blackfellas who were unfit, and with little to zero running experience. I took them through an 8-week walk/run program and at the end of the 8 weeks, provided participants stayed injury-free, they could run 5k non-stop. The popularity of the group grew on social media and via word of mouth. In the first year, 34 participants ran their first 5k, many also completed 10k and half marathons. In the first year, the group collectively lost 150kg.
I assisted other communities to set up their own Deadly Running Groups. When the popularity of DR rapidly grew, I realised that Deadly Runners was changing lives.
The tradition of receiving a DR singlet started with the first DR group in Queanbeyan in 2014. After recognising those who reached the 6 week mark were more likely to complete the program, the singlets were introduced as incentives and rewards to entice runners to keep coming. Singlets are worn by runners when completing their first 5k, proudly representing their culture and becoming official members of the DR family.