Ryan Spiteri completed Alive Cycle Challenge in aid of Children’s cancer research
Ryan Spiteri, a Ports and Yachting officer at Transport Malta, was one the 28 cyclists who participated in the fourth edition of the ‘RE/MAX ALIVE 2016 Cycling Challenge, cycling 1000 kms in seven days. This year the challenge was in aid of children’s cancer research and with the support of the Remax and Friends Foundation; Alive will also be furnishing an indoor and outdoor play area at the Pediatric Unit within Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre.
This year marked Spiteri’s, fourth year in a row participating, sponsored by Transport Malta, having found out about the challenge through a cycling group on Facebook. The challenge itself involves cycling which is something Ryan is very passionate about, however what also interested him was that the funding was for the Maltese community. Spiteri, an avid triathlon participant, explained that the principles of a triathlon such as running, cycling and swimming differ to that of the challenge. For this experience, he had to forgo his swimming training and focus solely on cycling. When speaking about the highlights of the journey a particular memory came to Ryan’s mind, riding into St Peter’s square in Vatican City, in Rome. There were also the scenic routes, cycling from Croatia to Slovenia. One of the biggest challenges by far according to Mr Spiteri was the heat especially cycling through Italy and experiencing the different altitudes, with over 12,000m of elevation over seven days of cycling, up the Alps and other high mountains.
Alive is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation set up by Nicky Camilleri, Elton Barry, Miriam Abela, Gerth Lapira and Lydia Borg in 2013. They aim to raise the status of health awareness and scientific research thus investing in long term gains. Alive organises philanthropic activities in order to collect donations to support projects based on the necessity of the current social and health environment. When asked what advice Spiteri would give to people interested in participating in the challenge, He said “I would definitely recommend it to anyone, especially people who love cycling. But also to people who have never cycled before who are up for the challenge. We had people who had never ridden a bike and they successfully managed by sticking to the training schedule seriously and they successfully completed the challenge. Although it is not easy, it is achievable and can be a challenge for them as well.”
When asked to describe the challenge in just three words, Ryan, who turned 31 this week, said “tough, hot and rewarding”. Keeping in the mind the goal and working as a group were two of the biggest sources for motivation for Ryan during the challenging times. Transport Malta offered their support for the organisation through a generous donation. Alive presented their record sum of €100000 gathered from the 2015 edition to the Research Trust of the University of Malta (RIDT) to further the University’s specialised programme in cancer research for children on the 19th of June.