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    Group Marathon Tours - with Adventure Time Travel

    AFL Champion Brogan’s New York Marathon with Adventure Time Travel is “up there” in terms of his greatest sporting memories


    As an athlete, Dean Brogan reached the pinnacle of two sports in Australia, the NBL and AFL. 

    He holds the unique record of being the only person to win a premiership in both leagues, first with the 36ers in basketball in 1998 and then with the Port Adelaide in the AFL in 2004. 

    But Brogan has another physical feat that he said rivalled those achievements, running the New York Marathon. 

    “There’s a few things I’ve done in my life to date and that’s probably right up there, to the point where you just go, well, how do you top it?” Dean Brogan said. 

    “Playing football you have good wins and that’s great and you’re part of a team but this is something that’s for you.

    “It’s not something that, you know, you’ll get recognised for down the track, but it’s something that you’ll carry, putting yourself out there and spending six to seven months training for it.

    “And just the experience itself, running through New York is something that you just will never forget.”

    Dean Brogan took on the 42.2-kilometre challenge in November 2023 after his friend, TV and radio presenter, Mark Soderstrom suggested he give it a go.

    For Dean, getting back to high-level training after retiring from footy in 2011 was life-changing. 

    “I had a bit going on, some stuff happened, I had a few issues in my personal life.

    “I found the training just helped with, not only that, but also with my day-to-day working.  

    “When you train hard for something and you go on your long 25 to 30k runs, it’s therapeutic  so to speak.”

    Brogan, who is now 45, has a partner and one child and is currently a branch manager at computer support company, EFEX in Adelaide.  

    “So it’s pretty stressful,” Dean Brogan said.

    “We’ve got 60 staff so there’s always something going on. 

    “So I really enjoyed the training.  

    “And you just meet different people along the way and you get on Strava and you look at what other people are doing and I thought it was great.

     “I didn’t have a coach or follow a program, I just sort of followed what other people around me were doing that had run marathons before.

    “I actually really enjoyed getting back to some consistent structure with training.

    “We all want to be physically fit but I really found it beneficial for me mentally, pushing myself a little bit more than just going to the gym and going on a casual run. 

    “To have that big focus sort of brought me back to playing days.

    “I  really enjoyed having that big goal and big event to work towards.”

    While Dean had done the Melbourne half marathon in 2022, New York was his first full marathon. 

    “I think about it all the time, it’s like I said, it’s one of the best things I’ve  done,

     you know, to date in my life and it makes me want to do more,” Brogan said. 

    “It’s amazing, I think a lot more people are into running now. 

    “I’m having heaps of conversations about marathon running and what New York is like.

    “It’s funny, running seems to be having a bit of a moment at the moment. 

    “I don’t know where it’s come from whether it’s out of COVID or what’s happened.”

    Dean said it’s the New York crowd, with more than a million people lining the streets, that really makes the event special. 

    “The whole city is just into it,” Dean Brogan said.

    “Everyone’s cheering you on. 

    “You wouldn’t see it anywhere else in the world no matter what you’re doing, so being around such positivity and good energy, it’s pretty eye-opening.

    “I was just blown away, like completely blown away.”

    Dean said he has a clear memory of running, with another runner from Australia, through Central Park during the final few kilometres. 

    “It’s like the finish of the Tour de France because of the crowd.

    “The energy through there is just incredible.” 

    Dean booked the event through Adelaide-based Australian fitness travel business, Adventure Time Travel, which is run by marathon runner and travel operator, Anna Liptak. 

    He said the team helped make the experience unforgettable. 

    Every participant has to arrive early on Staten Island before police shut the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge at 7am.

    “The real value with Anna’s team is on the day of the race,” Dean Brogan said.

    “The way she puts you in a hotel (over near the race start on Staten Island) and gets you breakfast and you know you’re in comfortable surroundings.

    “I didn’t start running until 10.20…so that’s a long time waiting at the start line.  

    “And that in itself alone is worth the price of admission. 

    “So, that was my experience, it was wonderful.

    “It was the best thing I’ve ever done.”

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