A record field of 320 runners took part in Birkirkara St Joseph Sports Club’s last event for 2015 – the BSJ Eurosport Fleur-de-Lys Road Races – where impressive showings by the established athletes were noted.

Organised in conjunction with the Birkirkara Local Council, the Administrative Committee of Fleur-de-Lys, and held under the auspices of the Malta Amateur Athletic Association, the races were a culmination of a busy season for Birkirkara SJ who are celebrating their 40th year in sport.

Mellieħa AC runners Andrew Grech and Margaret Seguna were the respective winners of the 10km races.

Grech maintained his dominance over the distance by retaining the title for a third consecutive year.

Keith Galea, of BSJ, was the runner-up, followed closely by fellow club-mate Steve Chetcuti.

Although Chetcuti stayed on Galea’s heels for most of the race, it was a strong and determined sprint from the latter that saw him clinch second place, nine seconds faster than his nearest rival.

Chetcuti’s time was almost two minutes faster than last year over the same route.

There was also marked improvement for Seguna as she crossed the finish line in 40 minutes 21 seconds, over 60 seconds faster than the 2014 BSJ Eurosport race where she finished in fourth place.

Seguna led the way in the women’s 10km race to win comfortably from of Laura Heikkila, 42:47, and Graziella Formosa, 42:58.

Meanwhile, there were no surprises in the men’s 5km as Pembroke Athleta’s Mark Herrera sprinted home to retain the title after a closely-fought battle with Charlton Debono (Athletix AC).

Third place went to young BSJ runner Shaun Galea.

Galea has been registering impressive results lately, particularly in triathlon races. His timing was 16:42, which means two minutes faster than his 2014 time.

The women’s 5km podium was graced with some new faces from last year – Lisa Marie Bezzina (Athleta), Angele Satariano (Libertas) and Francesca Arrigo (Ladies Running Club) who finished in that order.

Present for the presentation ceremony were Julian Holland and Antoine Attard who represented the Solidarjeta bl-Isport Campaign of the Malta Community Chest Fund for which over €900 were raised.