10 Heroes of the 2017 BRND WGN & University Ring Road Races
It’s been over a month now since our 6th edition of the races and even though the hype is slowly dying down, here at the office we are still buzzing. A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at my desk reading an article from the Times about the event and it really got me thinking.
After every race, the winners are always put in the limelight and although they definitely deserve to have their efforts commended, sometimes we tend to take this overboard and almost worship them. In fact as a kid, being the keen athlete that I was, I too remember idolising some of the top local athletes in my sport.
Although it is always great to have role models, i think sometimes we put so much attention on the victors that we fail to notice the feats of others which are just as admirable.
Which brings me to our next blog post – here’s my take on the real heroes of this year’s edition of the Ring Road Races:
1) The Emergency Fire & Rescue Unit and the San Gwann Scout Group
As the saying goes: ‘Many hands make light work’ and this is indeed the case for our races. We are pleased to have the support of so many people working behind the scenes. It is down to organisations like these that our races are so successful year in year out and they are definitely heroes in our eyes!
2) Euchar Camilleri and his team from Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club
Most people hate getting up in the morning, I myself have a mental battle with myself every day to get out of bed for swimming (and many a time sleep wins…).
What if we told you that at around 5am on race morning you’d find Euchar and his team setting up for the day. They sacrifice their Sunday to help us out and in the many editions we held, never have I heard any of them complain. Euchar really goes out of his way to help even in the build-up to the races, what with route marking and lending us equipment. He definitely deserves the title of Race Hero!
3) Giuseppe Lenti and the rest of the BRND WGN Crew
If we were giving out an award for productivity, then without doubt Giuseppe would be the man for this. I am not sure he realised what he was getting into when we initially met him round about December but he definitely got the job done!
Anyone who has ever organised an event knows that things never run completely smoothly but Giuseppe was always there to provide a solution. He was great to work with and we will definitely miss our weekly chats over the phone and email correspondence. He was also up at the crack of dawn on race day to help set up!
At this point we must also mention the rest of the BRND WGN crew who were there on the day in masses (Murphy and all) to help support Hospice Malta.
4) Mark Zammit on behalf of Agones Sports Club and his timing system
In past editions, one of the most stressful parts of the actual event was collating results in time for the presentation of awards. This year we solved this problem by investing in chip timing (as opposed to doing everything manually). Mark is probably my manager Johanna’s number one hero of the day; she probably still has nightmares from past issues 😉
5) Jake Vella and his team mates from the Malta Youth Triathlon Academy
At just 7 years old, young triathlete Jake Vella has won over the hearts of thousands of people around the world. Everyone is talking about the little boy who despite training regularly and eating healthily, suffers from a rare disease called ROHHAD which causes him to keep gaining weight.
Jake has participated in numerous editions of our event and he is possibly the most determined 7 year old athlete I have ever met. Furthermore he is an inspiration to both adults and children alike; in fact it is always an amazing sight to watch the support he gets from his training buddies at MYTA.
Being a triathlete myself, whenever I’m lacking motivation or going through a difficult period in terms of training and racing, watching Jake is always a reality check. If a 7 year old suffering from ROHHAD can conquer each challenge he sets himself then so can I! Jake you are not only our youngest RACE HERO of 2017 but also my personal hero 🙂
6) Our Photographers
‘A camera is a save button for the mind’s eye’ Roger Kingston – and also let’s just face it, everyone looks forward to seeing the race pictures on Facebook. Personally I love to look back at albums as it always jogs memories and I often find myself smiling.
We are extremely grateful to our photographers Angie Conti (http://www.angieconti.com/), Robert Camilleri (Fotoclassic) and Alex Turnbull (@alexturnbullimages/) who all did an amazing job at capturing the day’s activities and emotions on film.
7) Wall’s Malta and Dr. Juice
If you’re like me and you think with your stomach then anything related to food is definitely a winner! Let’s face it, who can refuse a free ice- cream or an ice cold smoothie after a run in the sun. I am sure we are not the only ones who were grateful to have them there on the day.
The cherry on the cake was the ice cold Acai Sorbet also on offer at the finish line.
8) Mykill Cini, Capoeira Nagô Malta, Bouncy Castles Malta, Outdoor Living Malta
Because no event is truly complete without some awesome entertainment to keep the crowd going. And with an eager team like ours it’s no surprise that we had not 1, not 2 but 4 different forms for all types of people.
Having partied at various local clubs on his DJ set until the early hours of Race Morning, we definitely have to hand it to Mykill, one of Malta’s top DJs for once again being present at our races. His lack of sleep didn’t seem to have any effect on his energy levels – let’s just say he ‘brought the house down’.
A combination of martial arts and dance/ aerobatics, Capoeira was also a winner amongst our crowds. Their presence alongside the race route helped to keep spirits high, as did their performance on the university track.
Bouncy Castles – need we say more! Kids love them, adults wish they could still justify trying them out. They just add colour to an event like this.
Participants were even given the opportunity to build a 4 x 4, courtesy of our friends from Outdoor Living, to get a taste of how much fun and how beneficial team building activities can be.
4 more heroes who gave up their Sunday morning to be with us on the day!
9) Our fellow Colleagues, Friends and Family
If you read our previous blog then you’ll know that organising an event of this scale is never easy. Stress levels can get super high and let’s just say the last few weeks in the build-up are not the easiest of times for us at the office. After a day like that, you also aren’t the nicest person to be around at home (especially if you are busy fretting about tying up loose ends).
We are lucky enough to have so many people around us who really do have our backs and although at this stage it would be difficult to mention each individual – you know who you are and you really are heroes in our eyes. Whether you helped us out with logistics in the build-up to the event, showed your support by rallying troops to participate or gave up your Sunday Morning to help us out on race day (some were even there at the crack of dawn with us) – we cannot thank you enough!
10) All of you !!!
This year we were able to raise €3200 for Hospice Malta and it is all down to you! Thank you for being a part of our races whether you were there on the day or in spirit!