The Malta Marathon and Half Marathon have become a fixture in the annual Maltese calendar of events. This marathon was started off by the late John Walsh, and is now heading towards its 30th Anniversary next year. It is no understatement to define the it as the country’s top sporting event in terms of mass participation. Furthermore, the Malta Marathon is also becoming a staple on the international calendar for runners worldwide.
Six KPMG Crimsonwing Malta employees – together with one ex-KPMG Crimsonwing employee, Mark Herrera – have taken the challenge and wholeheartedly participated in the half Marathon held on the 23rd February, together with Joe Agius, from the Internal Support Team, who also helped out as a volunteer. The official charity for the 2014 Vodafone Malta Marathon was Inspire, the Foundation for the inclusion of disabled people.
Joe Micallef, Chairman of the Malta Marathon Organising Committee (MMOC), commented, “There is a huge sense of pride for the MMOC at seeing the Malta Marathon develop into such a popular race since it came into existence almost 30 years ago. The main concept behind the creation of the Malta Marathon was to try and encourage Maltese people to start running as there were very few athletes who practised long-distance running in those days.”
In the last few years the number of participants has grown exponentially, and this year the Marathon reached a new record of runners, with more than 3,600 participants out of which 1,500 were foreigners.
The Malta Marathon (42.2km) and Half-Marathon (and Walkathon, both 21.1km) started from the legendary Mdina Gate – the gate to the old capital city of Malta, built by the Arabs in circa 570- 870 A.D. The imposing gate to the city of Mdina, was built during the time of the Grand Master of the Order of St John, Manoel de Vilhena. During the day of the Malta Marathon, the route is kept traffic free, with traffic police, district police, wardens and marshals present to control traffic and direct runners to the finish line. The organizers make changes to the routes over the years to improve the route for better timing and safety. Along the way there are a lot of water stations, sponge stations and Powerade stations where the athletes fuel up. This year one could also find a banana station! The athletes are cheered up along the route with live bands, local band clubs and locals clapping and encouraging participants along the way.
The best time recorded for the Malta half Marathon was 1:10:24, and the last person crossed the finish line after 3:52:47. Six KPMG Crimsonwing Malta employees crossed the finish line. Their timings were as follows:
- Mark Herrera: 01:13:09
- Malcolm Piccione: 01:37:38
- Gilbert Busuttil: 01:43:45
- Moira Cassar: 01:47:00
- Dione Bugeja: 01:54:02
- Owen Cilia: 02:10:45
- Jonathan Tabone: 02:30:32
The interest between KPMG Crimsonwing the employees is growing year on year. Jonathan Tabone, one of the KPMG Crimsonwing runners participating in the Marathon for the first time said, “I am not a professional athlete at all, but finishing a marathon is a great personal achievement. It’s a state of mind- a state of mind that says anything is possible if you work for it. If you were to ask me: Would you do it again? I would say yes, and hopefully make it in a better time.”
We congratulate Moira, Gilbert, Malcolm, Dione, Owen and Jonathan (and Joe for helping out!), as they inspire us all to live a more balanced life, and give our utmost in significant challenges in life. You are truly an inspiration!