Report from Julian Mawson:
Just returned from a long-ish three week holiday in Malta and I had the opportunity to take part in their Half Marathon whilst there.
It was the thirtieth running of the event and the half started at 09:15, some 105 minutes after the full, and followed the last eleven miles or so of the full marathon route – which meant that after a couple of miles I was passing runners who had been out for at least fifteen miles already – quite a good motivator… for the half runners!
Starting in the island’s central and historic city of Mdina, which apparently is not just only older than my pb’s but also Stonehenge, the course then descends to Valletta and finishes on the waterfront at Sliema (just outside Marks and Spencer).
The event’s website describes how it usually takes place in favorable Spring conditions but this year’s race was preceded by heavy rain, started in the dry, encountered mid-race hailstone (a rare Maltese phenomenon) and finished in warm sunshine.
The winner of the half was Karol Grunenberg of Germany and his chip time was 69.53. He was followed in second place by Preston Harrier’s Gary Pennington in 71.53 and the first lady in 71st position overall was Italy’s Simona Baracetti in 85.23.
I finished 23rd overall (third MV40) out of 2,874 finishers with a chip time of 78.39…. foolishly I was delayed by a few seconds having erroneously started with the iPod playing masses as evidenced in the race youtube video at 0:53 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aArf4YVAJJY
More details and results from http://www.maltamarathon.com/
Interestingly the half’s course record was set in 1995 by Mark Hudspith in 62:50. The course is classified as a “HMDH” (Down Hill) on Power of 10 which although true, doesn’t feel as such with a number of steady ascents included along the way.
As a postscript, I would add it was splendid to unexpectedly mingle before the start with runners from a number of local clubs including Hyde Park Harriers, Dragons and Huddersfield Road Runners. And this is somewhat surreal…talking to the Irish man, Cyril, who finished as first MV40 in 76.43 who was co-incidentally staying in the same hotel as me, I chanced my arm and said, “Have you heard of Liam Dunne?” and he had!!! Liam tells me they know of each other well and this begs the question, is there anybody in Ireland Liam doesn’t know?