Running to America


Running To America is a story of pure inspiration. Four young Indigenous men from the Australian outback are plucked from obscurity by marathon legend Robert de Castella to run the world’s most famous race, the New York Marathon. He’s convinced that Indigenous Australians have a natural talent for distance running - but have never been given the chance to excel.

The four men come from isolated communities in Arnhem Land, the Kimberley and the Central Desert. They are cut off from the everyday opportunities that modern youth take for granted. Now these young men are thrown into a brutal eight-month training regime to teach them how to run distance.

The team undergoes elite athletic training at the Australian Institute of Sport under the watchful eye of de Castella. They pound desert roads to get fit and they deal with a host of social problems that often beset Indigenous communities. The training takes place in isolated, but magnificent locations across Australia’s harsh interior. The people and communities in these areas are often overlooked by mainstream society, and in a show of solidarity even the local police force has become involved by providing transport and logistics to help them achieve their goals.

Their grand ambitions finally play out on the streets of New York. Will the four runners even complete the race, let alone excel? Will they overcome the challenges in their lives and make it to the finish line?

The runners

  • Juan Darwin, 22‐years‐old, from Maningrida in Arnhem Land
  • Joseph Davies, 18‐years‐old, from the remote  mining   town  of   Kununurra
  • Caleb  Hart,  17‐years‐old,   from  Alice  Springs
  • Charlie   Maher,  27‐years‐old,   from  Alice  Springs



Juan Darwin
Joseph Davies
Caleb Hart
Charlie Maher
Release dates
2011 - Australia
G - general
Goodoil Films

Unable to afford a helicopter Long negotiated his way into a hot air balloon with a couple of German tourists on a champagne breakfast to film the opening aerial shots.

Aired on ABC1 at 8:30pm Thu, 1 December 2011.

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An appropriate citation for this document is:, Movies - Running to America, retrieved 17 December 2018