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‘It’s never too late to start running’

Paul Commons at the start of the La Valette Marathon.

Paul Commons relates his incredible story as long-distance runner ahead of the 2023 La Valette Marathon

As the old ‘adage’ says it’s never too late to start running.

Paul Commons is the perfect example of a person who put on  his running shoes late in his 40s and since then he has been hooked by the sport.

For Commons long-distance running represented an opportunity to not only get back into shape, from a physical point of view, but also was beneficial to help him come out of a difficult time in his life which threatened to see him turn to alcohol to feel better.

After running his first marathon, Commons never looked back and since then he has run almost 500 marathons, including the first edition of the La Valette Marathon in February last year.

“I started running approximately seven years ago when I was around 49 years old,” Commons told the Times of Malta.

“I decided to start running as I wanted to get fit and lose some weight. I was also coming out of a long relationship with alcohol and it seemed a good thing to concentrate on instead. 

“It was a distraction to keep me occupied and focused in a more positive way.

“My first marathon was on May 25, 2015, and it was really just to see if I could do it. It was a timed lapped event of 6-hours and so you could run as many of the 4.22 mile loops as you wanted in that time. 

“I ran 29.5 miles that day in 5hrs 17 minutes. That first event got me thinking, how much could I improve if I trained more, and so my marathon/ultra journey began.

“I have now completed 496 official marathons (of which 160 of those are ultra marathons), and hope to reach 500 on December 31, this year.”

Running has become an integral part of Commons’ life, and in fact for the past three years he has run at least 10 kilometres every day, even when he was sick or the weather is not the best.

“I have run through illness, injury, snow, rain, storms, everything,” he said.

“Obviously I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it and it’s certainly not for everyone, but I am very determined, and I love keeping up my run streak, which is currently on 1,240 days and counting. 

“Running keeps me focused and has also given me the opportunity to meet many wonderful and inspiring people along the way, and of course as I always say, when your miling, you’re smiling.”

Last year, Commons was one of the participants in the first edition of the La Valette Malta Marathon and he says he has fond memories of this race.

“Running the Intersport La Valette Marathon was my first visit to Malta.  It was a fantastic opportunity and an experience that I will never forget,” he said.

“It was a really good and well organised event.  The course was amazing as I got to take in some of the fantastic sights and views along the route. 

“The aid stations were well stocked, the volunteers incredible and the last few miles coming into the finish was just breathtaking. The scenery and crowds made it an unforgettable experience.  It is definitely one of my favourites.”

Commons has so much enjoyed running the La Valette Marathon that he is planning to come back next February for the second edition.

“I am definitely coming back to run the La Valette Marathon again,” Commons enthused.

“I would also love to stay a few extra days next time and do some additional sightseeing and exploring Malta too.  My first trip was a bit of a whirlwind.”

The 2023 La Valette Marathon is taking place on February 5.

For more details on the race and registration interested runners can log onto https:// corsa.mt or send a whatsapp message on 79979999.

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