Video: Matthew Mirabelli

High emotion and a cheering crowd greeted Claudio Camilleri and Patrick Tabone as they finished a 190km run a little after 3pm on Sunday afternoon. 

The pair started their run early on Saturday morning in Sliema, where they braced the sweltering July heat for 35 hours, running along the coast to ÄŠirkewwa and hopped onto a ferry to Gozo, ran clockwise along the Gozitan coast and took the ferry back to Malta, continuing down west and all along the souther tip, finally heading to Valletta and finishing in Independence Gardens in Sliema where they started.  

Photo: Matthew MirabelliPhoto: Matthew Mirabelli

A crowd of family, friends and supporters were there to greet them as the run came to an emotional end with Camilleri and Tabone's partners, parents and children embracing the runners following their test of endurance. 

Glad for a drink of water in the shade Camilleri and Tabone told Times of Malta they were tired but motivated from the challenge. 

"We were never at risk of stopping. We got very tired along the way, it was hard but we always knew we were going to finish it," Camilleri said. 

"The way people actually supported us  is the most impressive thing, its a sensitive subject and people reacted so positively to it and that’s why we’ re doing it."

"The way people reacted to the cause was beautiful," Tabone added.

"When you have a response like that, when people are donating and saying they believe in you when they have no business to do so, stopping wasn't an option."

Photo: Matthew MirabelliPhoto: Matthew Mirabelli

Camilleri and Tabone ran to raise money to provide education to refugee and migrants youths. 

All the funds collected will be used to run a Education Support Programme (ESP) which will be led by NGOS Kopin and JRS. 

You can donate to the cause here

Originally, the runners were planning to attempt a 101km run in Switzerland earlier in July, however their efforts were upended after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Not wanting their effort and hard training to go to waste, amended the challenge to complete the thought to be yet uncompleted run across the coastline of the Maltese Islands.

The next challenge for the charitable runners? 

"Sleep," says Tabone nonchalantly.

"Yes, definitely going to bed," Camilleri grins in agreement. 

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