Corsa Events, in the presence of Hon. Clayton Bartolo, Minister for Tourism and Hon. Dr Clifton Grima, Parliamentary Secretary for Sport, Recreation, and Voluntary Organisations today announced the launch of the La Valette Malta Marathon which is scheduled to take place for the first time on Sunday 24th April 2022.
The concept behind the La Valette Marathon stems from 456 years ago, in 1565 when the fortress of St. Angelo was victorious in the great siege against the enemy of that time, the Ottoman Empire. The commander-in-chief of the Order of St. John, Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Valette, became an icon for what he managed to accomplish with just a force of six thousand against an aggressor of more than forty thousand people.
“Corsa was set up with a primary focus of hosting professional sports events, in synch with the Government’s agenda of promoting Malta as a unique sports tourism destination. The beautiful Maltese islands can lend themselves well to the hosting of events at an international level. With Malta’s historic background, it was befitting our first event – the La Valette Malta Marathon was named after Malta’s Great Siege hero Jean Parisot de La Valette. The combination of passion that drives Corsa to provide a memorable racing experience and the support of the Government is certainly a recipe for success. It is with sincere gratitude to the Honourable Minister of Tourism Mr. Clayton Bartolo, that such an event is actually, coming to fruition, as it is through his determination that such a national event will actually materialize.” – Matthew Pace, Corsa Events.
The La Valette Malta Marathon will include a full marathon, half marathon, and walkathon. The running marathons will be officially recognized by AIMS (Association of International Marathons).
Due to measures relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year the Marathon will take place in April, however, from 2023, the National Marathon, named after this national hero will take place on the first Sunday of February, as a nod to the date of birth of Grand Master la Valette on 4 February 1495. It is only fitting that a marathon named for this national hero ends in a locality where he triumphed against the enemy, in Vittoriosa just beneath Fort St. Angelo.
The route, which will be finalised in the coming days will start from Sliema, on the east coast of the island, and will pass by the imposing fortifications of Valetta, including Fort St. Elmo, best known for the part it played in the Great Siege and was the scene of some of the most intense fighting, withstanding massive bombardment from Turkish cannons. From then athletes will be taken to Senglea and finish at Fort St. Angelo, situated at the end of the Birgu peninsula, its presence dominating the equally historic Grand Harbour.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Clayton Bartolo, highlighted the innovative way at how sports and tourism have been combined in this initiative. “It is very encouraging to see initiatives, such as the La Valette Malta Marathon, being developed to attract athletes to visit Malta. It is even more extraordinary when through sports we give a cultural and historical take on one of the greatest events in Maltese history,” remarked Minister Bartolo.