Over 250 athletes were on the starting line of the Birkirkara St Joseph Eurosport Fleur-de-Lys Race.

The race, the last on the club’s calendar, has seen substantial growth over the last few years.

In this year’s edition, 149 athletes undertook the 10K distance while 115 ran the 5K route.

Some of the country’s leading athletes such as Andrew Grech, Charlton Debono, Simon Spiteri, Rita Galea, Hannah Pace, Angele Satariano, Margaret Seguna and Michelle Vella Wood competed in the race.

In the 10K distance, Grech stormed to a comfortable finish after leading throughout.

This was Grech’s fourth consecutive win in this annual race. He was followed by Stephen Borg and Alan Camilleri who fought out a strong and determined battle to the finish with the former winning the duel by a few seconds.

In the women’s category, veteran runner Galea secured top spot on the podium, beating last year’s winner Seguna to first place.

Although Seguna registered an improvement on last year’s time, it was not enough to secure top place on the podium.

Vella Wood was third.

In the 5K category, Charlton Debono extended his fine form, winning the short race in a time of 15 minutes 12 seconds.

Debono thus continued his successful streak having won all the three segments of the Eurosport Malta International Challenge Marathon last month as well as clocking a personal best time in the MAAA 5km Road Running League Race, held recently in Qrendi.

Dario Mangion was second in the 5K race ahead of Simon Spiteri.

In the women’s section, Satariano took first place, her first road race victory after making her running comeback two years ago.

‘Flagship event’

Satariano was closely followed by Pace, the national triathlon champion, with Catherine Chetcuti settling for third.

“We are very satisfied to have finished 2016 on a high note,” Euchar Camilleri, secretary general of Birkirkara St Joseph, said.

“The Birkirkara SJ Eurosport Fleur-de-Lys Race is our flagship event which concludes a very busy season for the club.

“We have received many positive comments about our race calendar and the work the club has put in to offer a good racing experience for athletes has paid off.

“We are grateful to all our sponsors, in particular Eurosport, with whom we have a long-standing partnership and look forward to strengthening this further in the coming year.”

Trophies were presented to the winners by Fr Martin Micallef, director of Dar tal-Providenza, the club’s official charity for this year.