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Record entry for third edition of La Valette Marathon

The La Valette Marathon has reached its third edition and this year’s race is set to attract a record number of participants.

Organised by CORSA, the annual race has been revitalised this year as the participants are set to compete on a new course that is set to guarantee an enjoyable experience for all the athletes at the starting line.

Matthew Pace, CEO and race co-founder, told the Times of Malta that for CORSA every year has been an important learning curve to provide the best possible race for all the participants.

“This is the third year of the La Valette Marathon, and every year has been a learning curve for us,” Pace said.

“This year we decided to redesign the full marathon route, ensuring a continuous sea-view for the participants and guaranteeing that wow factor. Through the new route, we have decreased hill elevation by 60m and with toughest bit before the 15km mark unlike last year’s where this happened to be at the 35km mark.

“It’s a far more scenic race and is also much safer. In the past, the race used to pass from Ħal Far and Birżebbuġa and certain roads were a bit dangerous for our athletes.

“The feedback from the athletes on these changes has been very positive and that is mirrored by the excellent number of entries.”

Pace revealed that bookings so far are 80% more than last year and is hoping to close at double than last year when registration closes in three weeks.

“We have only been organising the race for three years and the inaugural race attracted 700 runners, on year two we had 900 and this year we already have almost 1,600, an excellent entry list given that we are three weeks away from the race,” Pace said.

The La Valette Marathon race shirt that will be given to all participants.

“The biggest satisfaction for me is that we have over 1,100 foreign participants coming from 47 countries around the world such as the USA, Canada, Thailand, Japan, Kenya, China, and Brazil.

“These participants and their accompanying family members will gather an aggregate number of almost 3,000 tourists visiting Malta specifically for the La Valette Marathon.”

Top talent

The La Valette Marathon is set to attract some of Malta’s top talent in long-distance running with Dillon Cassar set for his first participation and will be joined by Andrew Grech, who will be making his third appearance, Charlton Debono as well as Malta-based runner Jemima Farley, fresh from her Malta Marathon success in record time.

“It is a known fact that many Maltese participants may be reluctant to participate in the La Valette Marathon because it’s not a flat fast route,” Pace said.

“But to be certified by AIMS there are standards to abide with, namely the ratio of elevation loss cannot exceed 1% of the total race distance.”

Pace said that in the past weeks, CORSA looked to solve a problem with the arrival of its race medals due to an issue in the Suez Canal.

“Organizing such a marathon is no easy task, and at times one is firefighting every day to make sure all is perfect on the day,” Pace said.

The medal that will be given to all participants that finish the La Valette Marathon.

“Lately we have been informed that our whole batch of medals got caught up in the Suez Canal notwithstanding the fact these were ordered in November. The solution was a no-brainer. We re-ordered all medals and are having them sent over via express delivery to make sure that those athletes who train months on end are not disappointed not to grab their medals after the accomplishment of their running feats.”

“From a cost perspective this has strained our profit and loss but runners and participants in our eyes are just like customers in a restaurant. Our best form of advertising is a customer-positive experience.

“We spent long hours designing the medals that reflect the coins used in 1565 in the Great Siege era during the La Valette days. The T-Shirt replicates the eight-pointed cross.

“I am sure that both the medal and the race shirt will be items that will be treasured by all participants.” 

For registration one should visit https://lavalettemarathon.com/

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