A record number of participants braved the cold wintry conditions recently to line up for the start of the opening race from the Agones Sfc Eurosport Trail Running League.

The championship, now in its fifth year, is a series of four legs which take participants through some of the country’s most picturesque trails.

Last week’s race, over a five-kilometre route on the outskirts of Buskett, was an ideal promotion for newcomers while providing a real challenge to the seasoned contenders.

Simon Spiteri was the first to cross the finish line in a time of 19 minutes, 4 seconds. He was followed by Barry Farrugia and Gilbert Spiteri as young Matthew Dalli produced a gutsy showing, coming home fifth overall, 13 seconds behind Spiteri.

The women’s race was won by all-rounder Danica Spiteri.

Hannah Pace was second ahead of Franciska Hehr.

At the end of the run, Agones Sfc president Warren Muscat thanked participants and sponsors Eurosport for their contribution. He also had words of praise for the organising team, led by race director Caroline Zammit.

The next stage from the league will be held on February 17 – a night trail race.