Drew Lang has established himself over the last three decades as one of the most successful athletes in long-distance running in Malta, managing no less than a century of victories before he decided to hang up his boots in 2019.
However, as of Thursday, the Scottish-born runner is set to embark on the biggest challenge of his career as he is set to run 30 full 42.2km marathons in 30 days on 900m loop circuit in Ta’ Qali.
This challenge holds far more value than any victory in a marathon had ever given to Lang throughout his career as it is being done to collect funds for Puttinu Care.
“I am really looking forward to this challenge,” Lang told The Times of Malta.
“The first time I thought of doing this challenge was in 2012. My wife, Edith was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and round about that time I was about to stop competing.
“When I used to accompany my wife for treatment I could see the difficulties she and the other patients went through. During that time, the idea of creating this challenge came about but unfortunately I didn’t receive enough support as they told me that 30 days of marathon was too much.
“However, this year during lockdown I got even more motivated to finally do this challenge. I had more time to train for this challenge and I was determined that I wanted to do it and here I am ready to go.”
But why Drew Lang chose Puttinu Cares?
“Puttinu Cares is such a great charity organisation,” Lang said. “They have been so good with me and my family and I feel that I need to do something to pay them back for their support. And there is no better gift for them to give them funds to help other people.
“I’m looking at this challenge also as a means to continue to inspire people to embark on a health liftestyle. Every Saturday I’m organising a 5km fitness challenge at the Ta’ Qali Park to attract more people to running and hopefully this challenge will inspire more people.”
Lang’s initiative has earned the support of his running friends, particularly Joe Pace, who 30 years ago had a healthy racing rivalry with Drew Lang in road running, and ultra-triathlete Fabio Spiteri who have both shown their intention to join the Scottish-born rider during his challenge.
While Lang has enjoyed a lot of success during his career where apart from winning 100 races in Malta he also became the oldest runner to represent Malta when in 2016 he competed in the World Mountain Championships.
But he says completing this challenge would be his greatest triumph of his career.
“If I manage to do this challenge will be without doubt my greatest achievement, far bigger than any medal that I have won in my career,” the 56-year-old said.
“This challenge is special because it is being done to help other people who are in need and I am really motivated to pass on a positive message of hope.”
Anyone interested to make a donation to this challenge can do so either via Revolut on 79899695 with ‘30 day challenge’ as the reference or on https://puttinucares.org/your-donation/