In 2022, the CORSA Team launched the first internationally recognised full and half marathon in Malta – the Intersport La Valette Marathon.
It was a risky move; the whole world was recovering from the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, travelling and gathering in numbers was increasing again, but still getting back on its feet.
However, the directors of CORSA believe that Malta deserves an international standard race – both for the local running community, and to share with international participants the very best that Malta has to offer.
Directors Charlie Demanuele, Matthew Pace and Francesca Scerri share their thoughts on the why and what of the Intersport La Valette Marathon.
“Well obviously this was my brainchild – that eureka moment that happens during my morning jog – running outdoors on a December day. While watching open sea swimmers in Sliema, I asked myself ‘where can this happen so easily on a winter’s day in other countries?’.
“So, if we managed to combine our abundant history, with our amazing coastline, together with our perfect weather – we could make Malta a unique sports tourism destination.
“What better way at breaking the ice than by scaling an internationally recognised marathon?
“This took months of planning and before finalising the routes, my running buddy and myself ran the half marathon route twice to experience the course.
This to make sure that we don’t take our route for granted since we live here, but running and trying to think with a tourist runners’ perspective.
“And wow what an amazing running experience. Our inaugural marathon and half marathon last year were quite a success for a first time.
“Now all is in preparation for year 2. We might still be at an embryonic stage but we are definitely gaining momentum and immediately after the February 5 event we will be eagerly looking forward to going for our next two London and Milan marathon expos respectively.”
“Since I began organising small races in the early 90’s in triathlon and running, I have always had at the back of my mind that if ever the opportunity comes to organise a marathon/half I would jump at it. I knew with all the country’s difficulties logistically, it would be an excellent challenge.
“About eight years ago the chairman of Intersport, Mr Alfie Borg, gave me the opportunity to organise 10km/5km races with Intersport as the main sponsor of this series which became very successful.
“This led me to meet Matthew Pace three years ago when he asked me if was interested in organising a half and full marathon to promote tourism in Malta. And so, the adventure began!
“Both the half and the full marathon give the participant a real feeling of what is Malta made of. Of course, Malta is not a flat country, but we did our best to come up with a route that it’s not just beautiful and historical but it is also an internationally accredited route too.
“The route is faster than one might think especially the half marathon. This year we are joined by some outstanding international athletes, including an Austrian runner who is aiming to finish the course in 1hr 11min.
“Best of luck to her and every participant!”
“The La Valette Marathon was set up for two reasons mainly. We want to encourage locals to be more active on a daily basis with safe and entertaining sports events while also placing Malta on the map as the place for sport tourism events.
“There is no other location where you can run along a scenic coast road and see people swimming in open waters in January or October.
“Our Mediterranean weather will not only help us attract more tourists but will also allow us to boast of our beautiful heritage sites and coastlines.
“Of course, there are many sports events happening all over the island, but we aim to bring something else to the table.
“Corsa will intertwine arts, culture, and entertainment with sports to ensure people of all ages have the greatest experience while participating actively in physical activity.
“We are very much looking forward to sharing our yearly calendar for the upcoming months!”
The 2023 La Valette Marathon is taking place on February 5.
For more details on the race and registration, interested runners can log onto https://corsa.mt.
Closing date for applications is February 1.
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