Some time before the 2016 Marathon, the committee learned that Brenton Ponza and Tate Kemp were about to run one of the shorter Melbourne Marathon Festival events for the tenth time. We were expecting to induct many new Spartans but Tate and Brenton were a little different from the others running their tenth as they were students at the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre. CPEC is the official charity of the Marathon Festival and also encourages its students to participate as part of their physical development.
The Spartans Committee recognised that finishing a 3km walk for these children was an achievement as impressive as “normal” adults completing the full marathon. The concept of “Honorary Spartans” was born, and it has lead to these boys (so far!) being presented with a singlet at the Annual General Meeting and allocated a permanent Spartan number.
We anticipate that the coming years will result in more Honorary Spartans. Tate and Brenton have now (2019) each finished 13 events so a blue singlet is as close as two years away. Tyler Parfuss completed his eleventh.