On July 25, hospitality consultant Claudio Camilleri and CEO Patrick Tabone will be tackling the 1 Run 1 Race initiative, braving the summer heat to raise €15,000 for JRS and Kopin to equip young migrants with the skills, education and training to be employable.
1Run 1Race was born from the COVID-19 pandemic’s ability to disrupt plans, including those made by Camilleri and Tabone to attempt the Ultra Eiger Trail Alps in Switzerland.
“We wanted to put all the training we had clocked to good use, so during one of our long runs we came up with a challenging ultra trail run we could do here to serve as a catalyst to raise awareness and funds for a cause we both had at heart,” Claudio said.
“We know that a lot of migrant kids and young people here in Malta don’t always have access to the books, technology and other educational tools that our own kids take for granted, so this is our little attempt at addressing that imbalance,” Patrick said.
JRS and Kopin run a specifically designed Education Support Programme (ESP) offering a number of packages to enable young migrants to access or continue pursuing their education, and the money raised will go towards tuition, tablets, laptops, books, and examination fees, among others.
The incredible run will start at 3.45am from Sliema’s Independence Gardens on July 25 where Camilleri and Tabone will cover an extreme distance that is longer than either runner has ever attempted and includes over 4.5km vertical elevation — the equivalent of climbing over 1,700 flights of steps.
Fuelled by fruit, marmite sandwiches, rice balls, a few sweet black coffees and several litres of water, the athletes will be backed by four support teams as they cover 150km in Malta and 40km in Gozo, ending back at Independence Gardens 35 hours later on July 26.
The two feel physically prepared for the challenge, but the real possibilities of overheating, exhaustion, dehydration, not being able to take in enough food, cramps, or injuries still keep popping up in their head, playing mental games to challenge their endurance.
“Mike Tyson said: ‘Everyone’s got a plan till they get punched in the mouth.’ We’ve trained and we’ve planned, but at some point in the run, we will hit rock bottom. It might be in the middle of the night when we’ve been running for 24 hours straight and we’re faced with an almost vertical climb to the top of Dingli Cliffs and another 70kms to go after that… At times like that you have stop thinking and just concentrate on the next step,” Patrick said.
The runners are keeping the students in mind during their training.
“The beneficiaries are the heroes of this initiative. These people have stamina and motivation that goes beyond the norm. They are ultra runners of life and this initiative is entirely dedicated to them because they deserve access to education to make sure they have the best chance to shape their future,” Camilleri said.
Donations may be made by visiting www.1run.mt. All the money collected will be going directly to JRS and Kopin.