Combining tough obstacles with long distance running is even harder than it sounds, and it does not sound like a walk in the park. Over 50 Maltese people from all walks of life have decided to take that on as a challenge this year.
The group will be taking part in a gruelling Obstacle Course Race (OCR), aptly named the Spartan Race, in Italy’s Orte this weekend
The collaborative effort by HIIT Fitness Malta and Tough Training Malta is proving that, no matter your age or profession, you can still keep healthy and fit, the contestants’ ages range from 50+ to as young as 21. The event will see these incredible athletes take part in any of the three races going down between the 27th and 28th April.
Saturday’s race, unironically named ‘the beast’, is a challenging 21 kilometre run with roughly 35 obstacles. Sunday’s races are called the Super and the Sprint. The Super (in the morning) is 13 kilometres long with 24-29 obstacles and the Sprint (afternoon) is 5 kilometres with 20-23 obstacles.
Most people do one, others do two, but some brave Maltese moulds have even opted to start and finish all three!
Three of the Maltese contingent opened up with Lovin Malta on why they’ve decided to take on such a massive challenge this year
1. Yasmine McGahern (Nursing student and part-time worker)
“In life, even though it’s hard to keep up with everything going on, I think you should always find some recreational time for yourself in order to keep sane,” Yasmine told Lovin Malta. “I try to manage my time as best as I can, train hard every day and stay ahead of my studies. The adrenaline rush I get when I’m at a race keeps me focused and dedicated on achieving the goals which I set for myself.”
Yasmine is running all three races and competing within her age group category in the Beast and the Super
2. Victor Pace (Senior manager at HSBC Malta)
“I love food,” Victor started. “I will devour a chocolate bar in no time. However, I also want to remain healthy and look great. I want to be able to continue to enjoy life for as long as I can, and working out can help you come close to achieving that.”
“All of life’s stressful moments will take their toll on you; they will make you age prematurely and sports is the best distressing source I can think of,” Victor continued. “I always tell my daughter to set a goal and achieve it; to never settle for anything and to always seek new heights. The Spartan Challenge will be one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever participated in, but I believe you should always push yourself to reach new limits and never doubt your capabilities; it’s all about your mindset, and not the physicality.”
Victor is running the Beast and competing to place within his age group category
3. Michelle Mifsud (Full-time Finance Executive and Mother of one)
“Being both a parent to a teenage son and having a professional career can get pretty challenging!” Michelle admitted.
“In order to maintain a healthy work-life balance, I believe there is nothing more rewarding than sports, and nothing beats opting for an Obstacle Course Race with such amazing people! I chose to take on Spartan for the physical and mental challenge, the tough but fun training, the social aspect of working as a team with such incredible people and to prove to my son that his mum can still kick his ass anytime.”
Michelle is running all three races
Yasmine, Victor and Michelle join the rest of the big Maltese group:
Alan Fava, Andre Bonello, Annabelle Degabriele, Anthea Xuereb, Audrey Bonnici, Brian Zammit, Bruno Cuzzi, Carsten Fraatz, Chanelle Camilleri, Christian Abela, Christie Zammit, Christine Degabriele, Claudine Bartolotta-Mock, Clayton Lautier, Conrad Aquilina, Cristina Grech, David Cutajar, David Gladwish, David Smith Cordina, Dennis Cutajar, Duncan Abdilla, Eleni Kramos, Erica Pullicino, Francesco Dimech, Gayl Fenech, George Bellizzi, George Said, Jennifer Cornthwaite, Jessica Casha, Jonathan Attard, Jonathan Sant, Jurgen Pavanello, Keith Ciantar, Kenneth Galea, Kurt Falzon, Lara Satariano, Louise Pisani, Marquita Muscat, Martina Vella, Matthew Farrugia, Michelle Grech, Miguel Musu, Noel Ciantar, Omar Mounir Bitar, Rebecca Naudi, Richalda Galea, Sophie Tenova, Stephanie Smith, Steve Ritchie, Talitha Dimech, Tara Abdilla and Ursula Farrugia.