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The road to NYC: Susan’s story

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Susan Forte has always been a runner. It is something she has done since her early days of primary school. As a high schooler, she represented Queensland in track running and cross country at the Australian titles numerous times.

In her own words: Running is her life.  

The Queensland Police officer knows running is good for her mental health. She joined the service in 2002, and in the years since has attended many traumatic incidents including fatalities, child abuse, domestic abuse, and has been assaulted while in the line of duty. 

“Running has always been my way of escaping reality – I don’t think about anything when I am running,” said Susan. 

“If I have had a bad day at work, even just for an hour I’ll put my shoes on and just run, and I seem to forget about everything.” 

As well as experiencing so much in her job, Susan’s life was turned upside down when her husband Brett was killed in the line of duty in 2017. 

In addition to the ongoing pressures of her work as a Domestic Violence Officer, and studying law at University, Susan is also going through the ordeal of an inquest into her husband’s death. As well as her running, Susan says she and her family have benefited from Fortem Australia’s resources during an unimaginably difficult period of their lives. 

“I have probably been following Fortem for about 18 months now,” said Susan. 

“It is an absolute godsend in relation to the little mental health tips for my family, especially my 14-year-old and me.

“I go online almost religiously every day and we do heaps of activities … when we have had enough.”

It was this association with Fortem that saw Susan throw her hat in the ring to join Team Fortem for the NYC Marathon. 

“It was through that association that I saw the expressions of interest and, being a running event, and a marathon, it had me interested” said Susan, who believes the training program will be as beneficial for her as the event itself. 

“I do heaps of running, but I have only run two marathons previously and my best time was 3 hours and 29 minutes. 

“It has given me a goal to focus on which is good, so I can stick to a strict training regime. It gives me that everyday task that I must do and gives me a bit of excitement there for something on the horizon.” 

“I am not focussed on an event time for this one, I am just happy to get out there, run, and soak in the atmosphere more than anything, and enjoy running with the other team members.” 


Media contact: Simon Anderson, M – 0448 601 391 E – media@dev.fortemaustralia.org.au

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