Don’t let this photo mislead you.
I won’t be taking part in the BRND WGN & University Ring Road Races this year.
This photo actually shows the only time I ever actually ran in one of the races on the day.
It was tough having to switch back to organiser mode as soon as I finished my leg of the relay and tagged my colleague Louis, who was up next.
So this year, much as I’d love to run it again, I’ll “just” be sticking to the role of organiser.
But about a year and a half ago, I sat in my boss’s office and explained to him why we couldn’t go ahead with the fifth edition of the University Ring Road Races scheduled to take place in November 2015.
My health was deteriorating (in fact I was already very ill at the previous edition of the event in April) and because I had kept hoping for so long that things would improve, there wasn’t going to be enough time for me to give a proper handover.
Deciding to cancel the event was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made.
It felt as though the illness was beating me.
But looking back, it was also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made because by November I was housebound, able to eat only a handful of foods and barely able to function, so I definitely wouldn’t have been able to cope with organising the event.
As we started planning the next edition for March 2016, I wondered (more like doubted) whether I would be well enough to be there.
Still the preparations started and thanks to all the support of those around me, we were able to plan it all taking into consideration that I might not be there on the day.
And while I still wasn’t fully recovered at the time, getting to be at the biggest edition of the University Ring Road Races to date was a dream come true for me.
With BRND WGN on board as title sponsors, with all our team's support and with Hannah having recently joined our team (and being thrown in the deep end quite a few times as I was still working from home at the time), we were able to pull off an event which I’m still really proud of.
It was all thanks to DNRS that I got to be at the races last year and being able to plan it and then even getting to be there was a big defining point in my recovery.
And that’s why the BRND WGN & University Ring Road Races mean so much to me.
But even though the event obviously doesn’t hold the same meaning for you, here are 10 reasons you definitely shouldn’t miss this event:
1. It’s a good way to keep active.
And with a 5km run or walk, 2km run or walk, 5km relay and 800m kids' run, there's something suitable for you whether you're super fit and looking to win the race or beat your personal best or whether you've never been to an event like this and are just out to have some fun.
2. You’ll also be helping Hospice Malta, who offer invaluable support through the numerous services they provide free of charge to help families cope with the difficult and distressing issues that arise in the face of terminal illness.
(And for anyone who can’t make it, including our non-Maltese friends, should you wish, you can still support Hospice Malta by visiting this link.)
3. You can meet Murphy, our superhero, who will soon be running 21.1 km dressed head to toe in pink while trying to beat last year’s time and raise even more funds for Hospice Malta.
Want to know more about this mysterious guy? Read all about him and his latest challenge here.
4. There’s something fun for all the family.
And for any kids not too keen on running or walking, there's even going to be a bouncy castle. Don't worry if you're not a kid - you might be able to sneak onto the bouncy castle (shhh you didn't hear that from me!) - or else we'll have you covered with other activities too.
5. And for all the office.
In fact we had a good number of corporate teams battling it out in the relay last year. And with a €500 team building voucher for the winning corporate team this year, you should definitely rope 3 of your colleagues in and start training for it soon.
6. There are some really cool prizes up for grabs.
Yes we agree that anyone who takes part is a winner, but it doesn't hurt that we have some really cool prizes lined up for the winners thanks to our really supportive sponsors.
7. Even if you don’t win a prize, everyone who crosses the finish line gets a medal and a goody bag.
And there'll be other freebies on the day including Funland vouchers for all the kids and samples by Dr Juice.
8. It’s also the perfect excuse to dress up!
You could even win a prize for best fancy dress: there's a prize for a child and adult. But better start planning your costume now because people come up with some really original ideas!
9. Did I mention that it's going to be loads of fun?
10. And finally because there are some surprises we can’t tell you about yet :)
So make sure you don’t miss out.
If this didn’t convince you then I’m sure this video of last year’s races will!
See you on the 12th of March! :)