This year’s National Mountain Running Championships were held in Binġemma recently under the auspices of the Mġarr Local Council and Athletics Malta.

Races were sponsored by Perskindol and supported by Good Earth, Cavalieri Art Hotel and Saracino’s Diner. There was a record 65 entries, of which 57 finished the race.

The route was in a unique countryside setting over a distance of 5.6kms with a continuous ascent of 139m and slight descent of 35m. The race set off from Binġemma, reached one of the island’s highest points at 240m and finished in Kunċizzjoni, limits of Rabat.

Guest runner Laurent Vicente, the current French short trail champion, set a new course record.

Vicente’s time of 19 minutes 40 seconds was 13 seconds faster than the previous best set by Italian Vicenzo Scuro in 2014.

Clive Gerada (St Patrick’s AC) claimed the national title in 21:21. Matthew Cutajar (St Patrick’s AC) was second in 21:34 followed closely by Pembroke’s upcoming athlete Luke Micallef – 21:37.

Lisa Bezzina (Pembroke Athleta) broke the women’s course record, held by Tara Abdilla, as she sealed the title in 22:52. Abdilla’s previous best was 78 seconds slower.

Angele Satariano (AS Libertas) also dipped below the previous best timing for women in Binġemma when she breasted the tape in 24:04 as veteran Rita Galea (Mellieħa AC) finished third in 24:21.

Meanwhile, it was confirmed that Matthew Cutajar (St Patrick’s AC), Charles Cilia (Agones) and Angele Satariano (Libertas) will be the ones representing Malta at the European Mountain Championships (uphill and downhill) in Arco di Trento, Italy on July 2.

Johann Cassar (Birkirkara SJ), Drew Lang (Pembroke Athleta), Angele Satariano (Libertas) and Francesca Arrigo (Ladies Running Club) will be participating in the San Marino International Championships.

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