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A challenge for all athletes at the 38th Gozo Half Marathon

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A challenge for all athletes at the 38th Gozo Half MarathonThe 38th Edition of the Gozo Half Marathon got underway this morning with over 340 Gozitan, Maltese and foreign athletes from 16 countries taking part, including previous title holders Drew Lang and Cecilia Fenech.

Apart from the half marathon (13.1mi), participants could also enter the 8mi, 4km, 2km or the 2km fun run. There was also the 13.1mi MTB Race.A challenge for all athletes at the 38th Gozo Half MarathonDrew Lang of Pembroke was the first male winner of the 13.1 mile race with a time of 01:18:07.770. Jacqueline Booker of St Patricks Athletics Club was the first femal winner in a time of 01:40:00.050.

The 8mi race was won by Jonathan Balzan in 44.49 followed by Fabio Spiteri 46.27 and Melvin Mifsud 47.31 respectively. Charles Cilia currently holds the record time for both 13.1mi (2006, 1:11.40 ) and 8mi races (2008, 43.14). Doreen Camilleri won the female category of the 8mi race in 55.08followed by Gianella Bugeja (58.53) and in third place Cecilia Fenech (59.09).

The Gozitans performed well in the races. First Gozitan in the 13.1mi race was Jimmy Sacco (01:28:46), followed by Frank Muscat (01:33:28) and Michael Bongailas (01:33:52). In the 8mi race, the first male was Daniel Pace (51:09), followed by Stefan Azzopardi (54:02) and Sinclair Grima (56:15). The Gozitan females 8mi category was won by Felicienne Mercieca (01:01:25), followed by Tara Vella (01:03:42) and Miriam Camilleri (01:05.00).

The overall winner of the 13.1mi MTB Race was Briquet Roman of Belgium in a time of 00:47:47.920.

The event was organised by the Gozo Amateur Athletic Association (GAAC) in collaboration with the Xaghra Youth Centre and the Xaghra Local Council.

A total of 78 trophies were to be awarded, along with promotional give-aways and commemorative medals were presented to all participants finishing the race.

The organisers sad that they have received lots of positive feedback on the event, including comment such as “It was a brilliant event, the best so far” and “It’s a killer of a route, but all in all, the rewarding feeling when crossing the finishing line was simply unique!”

The Gozo Half Marathon Organizing Committee would like to thank Xaghra Local Council, its sponsors, ERRC, Malta Police Force, Xaghra Scouts Group and the large number of volunteers who helped in the organization of the event.

A full list of all the winners is available here.

Photographs – Alain Salvary.

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