A prime athlete and a financial institute worker as well, Johnathan Balzan is a 45-year old with not just a passion for running.
Also a father of two, Balzan has been running professionally since the age of 29 and still competes occasionally.
Balzan’s other hobbies also include writing books and poetry, traveling, taking part in reenactments and taking part as an extra in films also.
Before settling on running, Balzan had tried several different sports disciplines. It was after running a half marathon for fun at the age of 17 and after watching the Olympics that he had the realization that running was the sport for him and that it would give him the satisfaction he wanted. And so, he stopped the other disciplines he used to practice, found himself a coach and began training and running professionally.
Running in itself is not as time consuming as other sports Balzan says. The advantage of having flexibility in time for training appealed to him.
Balzan then goes on to talk about his international winnings such as his personal best at 2Hrs 26mins and 27 seconds in 2008. Another best was in 2009 when he won a half marathon at 1Hr 8mins and 39 seconds.
He broke the record in races from Mdina to Spinola. There were a total of 12 races with a distance of 10.8 miles each and he came in under 1hr in each race.
Another big result was in the London marathon in 2013 with a time of 2Hrs 29mins and 43 seconds. He came in 43rd place from 36000 participants.
Apart from his various victories, Balzan has also had his share of disappointments. Two in particular were when during a marathon in 2010 he was misled by the leading car. The other is when he was not selected to take part in the Small Nations due to not meeting the required time despite being at his peak of fitness.
Balzan also mentioned that running at his level is always running at a critical sage regarding injuries. When one grows older injuries take longer to heal and he has had his share of injuries and he gets over them by rehabilitating properly and not getting into his head too much. During that time, he swam and cycled in order to compensate for not being able to train properly.
Despite all the ups and down brought along by running, Balzan says that he’s always willing to continue as running “makes him feel healthy and gives me a positive feeling”. It also helps him stay in shape and looking younger while also giving him a sense of belonging and fulfillment which in the end was what he was searching for in the beginning.
He says that he trains everyday especially when it comes to marathons but lately he has started to take a longer break between periods but still maintains an active lifestyle doing other activities such as going kayaking in the summer.
When asked about role models and inspiration, Balzan has more than one influence. These people are not all from the same background but they inspire him in different ways. These people are Haile Gebrselassie a Kenyan runner, Louis Hamilton a race car driver and Mahatma Gandhi.
Speaking about the good deeds that are associated with Gandhi, Balzan goes on to talk about things he dislikes such as violence and vandalism to the environment. He continues to say that one day he wishes the world will be all at peace.
He finishes off by speaking about his future ambitions which include a third book in the works which we be the third one he will publish with the first two books being Kilometri and Irdieden. He also plans to run still and place well in his age category but wishes to reduce his amount of training to give himself some time for enjoyment and hobbies.