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The Indigenous Marathon Foundation and Cara Smith take first step towards New York

 The Indigenous Marathon Foundation will take their first steps to New York City when the 12-strong running group arrives in Canberra this week for the first of four week-long training sessions.

Marathon-aspirarent Cara Smith shared her motivation for running the 42km epic with the Canberra Times last week with project director Robert de Castella describing the Queanbeyan mother as an inspiration.

"Cara has struggled with her weight and has never been a sporty person. She has lost a lot of family to obesity and health related problems and she doesn't want that her son Zac. She has an incredible story," de Castella said.

"It's huge, we don't select them on running or sporting ability, we select them on their purpose and drive. When they're 30kms into the New York marathon and every part of their body is telling them to stop - what is going to keep them going? What is the individual going to do to drive change."

The IMF aims to effect change and de Castella used Smith as an example of it's success.

Cara was inspired by a previous runner in Georgia Gleeson who is also from Queanbeyan.

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Gleeson wanted to share her experiences so she started a running group in Queanbeyan which Cara then joined," Castella said.

"This is the exact impact the program aims to do."

The foundation will hold a public fun run on Sunday morning at 10:30.

The open run aims on getting the community behind the runners but also giving the opportunity to run five, 10 or 15 kilometres around Lake Burley Griffin starting at Reconciliation Place.