I met Nathan for a cup of tea, a week ahead of his Spartathlon attempt. I wanted to know more about this family man, business man, and arguably Malta’s best ultra-athlete. Spartathlon is one of the most difficult ultras in the world (the only challenges that Nathan really takes part in nowadays, alongside his own record-breaking creations). Spartathlon is a 246km (153 mile) road race from Athens to Sparta. It started in 1983 and takes place 25-26 Sept 15. The goal of all participants is to finish under the cut-off time of 36 hours. Battling extreme weather conditions and strict cut-offs for the first 100km, it’s not only the distance that will be challenging. It is a stripped back race, no MP3 players allowed. Little support and only basic food is given. Up until last year, Nathan was the CEO of Malta’s largest non-profit organisation that helps people with disabilities. He stopped to maintain his role as president of the foundation. He set up his own business which helps people/ companies with executive coaching and business development. He is also heavily involved in foundations and charities for young people with disabilities and health problems. Nathan has been working and volunteering in the charity sector since 2000 and has raised hundreds of thousands of euros for good causes. His latest endeavours are as director of the Lino Spiteri Foundation, working to create jobs for persons with a disability on a national level. Me (M): Many athletes with families describe their lives as a daily ‘balancing act’, would you agree that finding a sport/life balance is trickier after kids? (more…)
“I don’t know if I can finish. But that’s the point. I don’t want to enter a race I know I can finish. I want a challenge and to see how I measure up. To try something I don’t know I can finish: that excites me.”
I wrote this the a few days after: “I have a feeling now like being in love, or having had a baby, without that anxiety and trepidation that I’m somehow going to mess it all up. No matter what happens now, I’ve completed an ultra and nothing can take that away.”
Call it backwards, but I ran a 30k race at 2am this morning in preparation for Gozo Half marathon next weekend…..
I was not properly trained for this. If you read this here you will have seen that two months ago I was finding walking pretty tricky.
I have long been interested in ultra-running, but was putting it off til I felt ready. I decided about 6.5 weeks ago to enter Gozo 55k next year, as ‘ready’ may never come. Then I decided it would be a good idea to try the 21k version of that race this year, to see the course.
As this race is at the tail end of school Easter holidays, when no childcare means running is harder to fit in, I decided I would do the Puttinu’s care 30k night walk* as training, and run as much of it as I can.