Charlie Maher says his purpose in life is to run and inspire others.
"I'm blessed to be able to run, and I believe I've been given a gift to do what I do," he said.
"It's important for me to continue to do it to inspire others and let them know they can do anything they put their mind to."
The Western Arrernte man and former Port Macquarie resident made history in 2010 as the first Indigenous Australian to run the New York Marathon.
Now, 12 years on, he has made history again by running in his sixth Abbott World Marathon Major in London in three hours and 50 minutes.
The 39-year-old is the first Indigenous Australian to complete all six Abbott World Marathon Majors, and joins a select few of about 7000 people in the world to have achieved the elite milestone.
Maher's family is his 'strength'
Maher said he felt "relieved" when he crossed the finish line in London, as he reflected on his journey to the last marathon on the six-star checklist, and the people who helped him get there.
"I've had a pretty challenging 18 months, my mum passed away last year to a major stroke, and I lost my sister a few months ago to cancer," he said. "For me, I wouldn't be in this position without them, my mum guided me in the right direction and my older sister did the same.
"I am very grateful that I have had them in my life, they instilled a lot of strong values in me, and I suppose I get my strength from them."
After living in Port Macquarie for six years, Maher recently moved back to Alice Springs to be around his family.
Maher said he's happy to know he's made his community proud.
"My mum and sister would've wanted me to make everyone proud, and I know I made them proud when I crossed that finish line."
Maher has now ticked off all the Abbott World Marathon Majors locations after competing in New York, Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and London.
The journey to making history
Twelve years ago, Indigenous Marathon Foundation (IMF) founder Robert de Castella, selected Charlie Maher and Caleb Hart from Alice Springs, Joseph Davies from Kununurra and Juan Darwin from Maningrida for an ambitious project - to be the first Indigenous Australians to run the New York City Marathon.
"[Robert de Castella] gave me the opportunity to run the biggest marathon in the world, and I gave 100 per cent to complete it," Maher said.
From there, the IMF was established to encourage Indigenous men and women to use running as a vehicle to celebrate Indigenous resilience and achievement, and create inspirational Indigenous leaders.
"[IMF] not only did all those things for me, but for the 120 graduates who have come after the four of us," he said.
"The marathons give you confidence and self esteem because you are doing something really difficult - running 42 kilometres is not easy.
"It's about that sense of accomplishment when you cross that finish line, that's the most important thing."
Maher said running is "the most honest thing you can ever do".
"You can't cheat, you can't cut corners, everyone runs the same distance," he said. "It doesn't matter how long it takes you, if it takes you three hours or seven, all that matters is that you cross the line.
Inspiring others to be better
While Maher, who describes himself as a private and reserved person, said his latest accomplishment comes with mixed emotions, he's hopeful it will inspire others to be better.
The support I've had across the country, and in Port Macquarie, has been amazing.- Charlie Maher
"It's not about me, it's about having a positive impact on other people, to inspire them to be better and to do anything they put their mind to. I lead by example and hope that others follow."
Maher said he thrives on making his family, friends and community proud, and he's "incredibly grateful of everyone's support" as he continues to share his message around the country.
"The support I've had across the country, and in Port Macquarie, has been amazing," he said. "It's ultimately about making people happy and proud of what I've done.
"The impact that I've had on other people, my friends and family, but also the people I don't even know who are touched by what I've done, is really important to me - that's why I keep running."
Maher's goal as he looks ahead
Maher said he doesn't see himself slowing down as he thinks about what's to come in his marathon journey.
He hopes that by continuing to run, he will make a difference by helping others find their purpose as they create a heathy and fulfilled lifestyle.
"Running is a part of my life, it's my purpose, and I will do it for as long as I can," he said.
"My goal is to continue to run, to make a difference and to inspire others around the country while I do it."
"At the end of the day, I want to continue making a positive impact. I still have a strong message to send."