Viorica Mălai: Trust your strengths!

Grow Your Wings! Be a Legend in Transylvania! Share your story!

The 8th edition of the Wizz Air Cluj-Napoca International Marathon is dedicated to those who constantly overcome their own limits through personal effort, dedication and training. It is about those living legends who literally walk among us, motivate us and encourage us through their example! Today we unveil Viorica Mălai’s personal story.

Double finisher of the prestigious ultra-trail competition Tor de Géants (330 km with 24000m D+) in 2015 and 2016, winner of the Carpathian Trail Running Circuit in 2017 and of the Via Maria Theresia ultra-marathon (3 years in a row, from 2015 up to 2017), Viorica Mălai had her marathon debut at Cluj-Napoca International Marathon! For us, her Runners Club club team and not only, Vio is a living role model for her dedication and perseverance.

Nevertheless, such physical and mental capabilities grow in time! Viorica started running in her teenage years, when a running club in her little home town made a junior runner selection at the school she was attending. Life opened different chapters though, and Viorica went back to running 5 years ago when she planned to run her first marathon. “I am strongly motivated by discovering new places, meeting people, going the distance and also by the ‘road’ to be taken in order to prepare a race.” – declares Viorica Mălai with in her serene and joyful way.

“My first race at Cluj-Napoca International Marathon was in 2013, during its 3rd edition. I had followed a 14 weeks training schedule. I was very uncertain about my preparation, but things went well. I managed to finish in the estimated time. During the race I learned more about myself and the endurance races, in general. I found out that I can run those distances, that I truly enjoy running, that my shoes were too small, what does that feared “wall” really feels like and many other things that we need to experience ourselves in order to understand them.”

Hidden somewhere behind a charming smile, Viorica’s 42 years melt when she is on the marathon or ultra-marathon course! The determination she proved on her first marathon and the following races, reveal a rigourous discipline and a limitless passion. We are glad that at the right time, Runners Club was that community that could contribute to turning her dreams into reality. “I have met here people passionate about running, who provided support and answered my beginner questions.” – added Viorica.

The sport spirit, the modesty and generosity that Viorica Mălai showcases are encouraging others too to run, to train and to get involved in Cluj-Napoca sports events: “The club organizes multiple running events in Cluj-Napoca and other cities, thus fostering the growth of the running community. I gladly join the volunteer team or the group trainings in order to give back to the community a part of what I have received.”

With an exceptional track-record, Viorica Mălai conveys a message from her own experience to all the runners who train and grow their wings for Wizz Air Cluj-Napoca International Marathon 2018:

I wish all runners a lot of success and joy during their races! Trust in your strength. Whatever the experience, it will be unique and priceless.”

Thank you Viorica for such an extraordinary story that inspires us to run and we are further cheering for you!


We would love to learn more about the stories of the marathon runners. Feel free to share moments from your training and use the following hashtags: #growyourwings #bealegendintransylvania #shareyourstory #clujmarathon #maratoncluj