Marathon Man

Robert de Castella

Affectionately known as ‘Deeks’, Robert de Castella’s list of achievements are longer than the marathons he’s completed.  This four-time Olympian moved from Melbourne to Canberra in 1981 to take up a position in the Sport Science Lab at the Australian Institute of Sport.

“My running career took off over the next few years, fuelled by the AIS, clean and fresh Canberra air, terrific network of bike paths and the dirt trails of Stromlo Forest. I went to my next three Olympics all based from Canberra, won the World Marathon Championships and won both the 1982 and 1988 Commonwealth Games marathon.”

The fresh capital air didn’t just inspire his running. In 1990 he was appointed Director of the Australian Institute of Sport. Motivated by his passion for promoting a healthy lifestyle, he co-founded the highly successful Deeks Health Foods—a health bakery based in Fyshwick that produces grain free health foods distributed all over Australia.

Deeks has always been a passionate advocate for athletics and marathon running and is the proud founder and custodian of the Indigenous Marathon Foundation. This incredible organisation uses running and the marathon to promote healthy and active lifestyles to Indigenous communities, celebrating their resilience, achievements and to create proud and inspirational role models and leaders.

“With Deeks Health Foods and the Indigenous Marathon Foundation both being national activities, Canberra is a perfect base to operate and grow from, with close proximity to all major cities while enjoying the relaxed and peaceful lifestyle that Canberra provides. Here I get to live at a home that backs onto a reserve, I run the trails nearly every day, I enjoy spectacular mountain views out of our living room and when I go into the city I always find a park and excellent cafes.”

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Robert de Castella