Trail runner and winner of The Grid, Ryan Farrugia, will next month become the first Maltese athlete to compete at the prestigious Spartan Races held in Lake Tahoe, California.
Farrugia (known as Ryan Mex on his Facebook) is no stranger to competing both locally and abroad in various obstacle course/running events and, after years of hard work, he’s finally been awarded the opportunity to compete at one of the biggest events of its kind.
“No Maltese has ever qualified or participated in the Spartan World Championships and I would like to be the first to wave the Maltese flag in Lake Tahoe,” Ryan told Lovin Malta.
“To have an opportunity to participate has been one of my wildest dreams. And it’s happening all thanks to Reflex Total Fitness who have believed in me since the very beginning.”
However, Mex’s road to qualifying for the Spartan World Championship wasn’t all that easy.
The Maltese athlete had to compete against other likeminded men, from more than 30 countries, in both national and regional events, all in hopes of qualifying for the World Championships.
Thankfully, Mex won his age category at the Spartan Orte in Italy back in April 2019 which qualified him European Regional Championships in Dolomiti at the end of June.
Competing alongside some of the best athletes in Europe, Mex finished regionals in a prestigious seventh place – enough for him to qualify for the Spartan World Championships.
Now, he’ll face his toughest and most challenging race to date, in a foreign country and under grueling physical and mental conditions.
Even tougher for Mex is the pressure and mental challenge of knowing that he’ll be the first Maltese to compete in this race with the reputation of the nation on his shoulders.
“Without the help of my coach Ivan Rozhnov and the team at Reflex, this wouldn’t have been possible. I also get lots of support from family and friends – their understating for my full work-training schedule means the world to me! Thank you all, you know who you are.”
Good luck Ryan!