The 33rd edition of the Malta Marathon is here, and the entire Lovin Malta team will be participating in it and ‘running’ for charity.
This year’s event is sponsored by Vodafone, and this year’s event is being called The 2018 Vodafone Malta Marathon.
If you are a sporty person – or, like some of us, totally not sporty – you should come along and run OR walk across Malta, all for a good cause.
Here are some things you should know before taking on the challenge.
1. There will actually be three events happening
There is the Full Marathon, but there will also be the Half Marathon and the Walkathon. Effectively the latter is part of the Half Marathon as the distance and all regulations are the same as those of the Half Marathon. The Walkathon will start at the same time as the Half Marathon, with the Walkathon participants starting behind the Half Marathon participants.
There are over 970 entries for the Full Marathon and over 3,700 for the Half Marathon with 600 of the latter participating in the Walkathon.
2. This is a classic marathon
The 2018 Vodafone Malta Marathon will be over the classic distance of 42.2 km and will start at Mdina at 7.30am. The Half Marathon and Walkathon will both start at 9.15am with the walkathon participants lining up behind the Half Marathon participants.
The Sliema Strand is the finishing area, where a vast number of spectators, will applaud and cheer as you cross the finish line. The location also allows the participants to run the last 5km on flat ground whilst admiring the picturesque creeks of the Grand Harbour
The first athlete to arrive at the finish will do so at about 9.45am, with the last ones coming in at about 1.00pm.
3. Inspire is the official charity of the marathon
Inspire is the official charity of the 2018 Vodafone Malta Marathon. Inspire does incredible work with people with disabilities, and the Malta Marathon Organising Committee as well as Lovin Malta urges all participants to collect funds for Inspire.
4. Tons of organisations will be volunteering
The successful organisation of the Marathon depends upon the assistance of a considerable amount of organisations. The Attard Scouts, St Aloysius Scouts, Hamrun Scouts, Lyceum Scouts, Mosta Scouts, Marsa Scouts, Stella Maris Scouts, St. Venera Scouts, Zebbug Scouts and Inspire provide marshals and man the San Michel, Powerade and Sponge Stations along the route.
5. First Aid will be provided
First Aid is provided by St John Ambulance and the Malta Red Cross Society. DHL will again be providing every finisher with a foil blanket to keep them warm as they finish.
6. A number of local companies stepped up
San Michel, Powerade, Urban Jungle and Fitness, Bay Radio, Mapfre, Jaguar and DHL are all partnering with Malta Marathon to provide support.
7. The Malta Marathon will be on Facebook
Vodafone and GiG have teamed up to get the marathon on Facebook. Apart from photos of the participants being uploaded onto Facebook, this year participants may choose to add their performance data to the photos. If they choose this, their name, distance from the start and their average time per kilometre will also be shown on their photos.
To do this, participants must register their bib number at www.vodafone.com.mt/maltamarathon.
The bib numbers worn by the participants will each contain a unique barcode. Photographers will be stationed at the start, at various points along the route and at the finish. The photos taken will be uploaded to the internet from the field meaning that whilst participants are still out on the route, their photos will already be available on their Facebook page. Participants should ensure that their bib number is clearly visible at all times.
8. There’s a record number of participants this year
For the 9th consecutive year there are a record number of participants, with over 4,800 applications this year.
9. The course record is 2:16:06
Six-time winner Mohamed Hajjy will be amongst the favourites to win the Marathon, holding the course record of 2:16:06. Nicolina Sustic, who has a personal best of 2:42, is the favourite to win the females title. Nicola had won the 2016 Vodafone Malta Marathon with a time of 2:50:26.
Charlton Debono is the top favourite to win the Maltese title for the Half Marathon. Lisa Bezzina, who is having her best year yet, is a firm favourite to be the first Maltese female and will be battling it out with Britain Helena Eastham.
10. There will be trophies and prize money
Besides the usual trophies and awards being given to both the Marathon and Half Marathon participants, prize money is once again being given to the faster Marathon runners. The amounts are based on their finishing times.
All finishers within the allowable time limit of each respective event will be given a specially minted medal as they cross the finish line. The design of this year’s medal was created with the help of John Zammit AKA Flash. The medal depicts Mdina, the site from where many of the Malta Marathons have started.
11. Biking, children, and pets are not allowed
The organisers are asking cyclists not to accompany the participants, it is dangerous for themselves as well as for the participants. The roads will already be congested with the participants. Same goes for anyone thinking of participating with their child or pet. Don’t do it, there are other events, other times and other places that are more appropriate to do this.
12. The route is the same as previous years
After leaving Rabat, the Marathon will pass by Mtarfa, Ta’ Qali, Attard, Mosta, back through Ta’ Qali and Attard, Mriehel by-pass, Qormi, Marsa, Blata L’Bajda, Floriana, Pieta, Msida, Ta’ Xbiex, Gzira and Sliema.
The Half Marathon and Walkathon will bypass the centre of Rabat and exit Rabat earlier and will follow the same route but skip the Ta’ Qali, Attard, Mosta, Ta’ Qali loop.
13. There will be bands playing for the runners
A record 33 bands playing music along the route, which is pretty awesome.
14. Some roads will be closed and traffic will be deviated
15. And you can pick up your bib race pack from the following places
Registration during which participants will collect their bib race pack which includes their race number, timing chip, T-shirt and the official race magazine will take place at the Vodafone Destination Store and at the Le Méridien St Julians Hotel & Spa on the following days and times:
16. Sponsor Lovin Malta as we ‘run’ for charity
Lovin Malta is collecting funds to donate to the Richmond Foundation, who are doing a lot of great work with mental health in Malta. Just follow this link and help us raise funds for an important cause.