Ryan Farrugia clinches another win, Carmen Hili secures first trail win at Eurosport Trail Running League

The virtually untouched promontory of il-Munxar, located in the southern part of Malta, played host to nearly a hundred trail runners taking part in the third race of the Agones SFC Eurosport Trail Running League.

Photo: Nigel Fleri Soler
Photo: Nigel Fleri Soler

The 10km route is dotted by the impressive sweeping white cliffs of Munxar, the scenic views of St. Peter’s Pool, Delimara and the nature park of Xrobb l-Għaġin, taking runners through many little unknown single trails unulating terrain, rocky sections and hard packed trail.

The unprecedented amount of trail runners on the route saw a good mix of experienced runners, all aiming to better their timings and possibly clinch a top leaderboard placing and novice runners enjoying their baptism of fire.

Jonathan Ebejer and Alan Curmi took the lead as they approached the first hill of the 10k route, however Ryan Farrugia soon overtook them to take the lead and celebrate his second win of this year’s Series. Farrugia, who has been making news for his win in the Sicilian League has the fastest time registered on this route – 38 minutes 18 seconds.   Curmi and Ebejer followed suit, to register a repeat of placings following the Birżebbuġia night run.  The Male Overall Classification is led by Jonathan Ebejer, Ackerly Hili and Darius Goodwin.

“The variety of terrain on this route makes this race quite technical at times, yet the participation in this league really augurs well for the future of trail running in Malta - I encourage all runners and outdoor lovers to participate in these races because the environment is purely fun and to experience sports in nature” – Ryan Farrugia, winner Males Category.

The Ladies field keeps on attracting the numbers. A strong start from current front runners Tara Abdilla and Danica Bonello Spiteri saw both poised for another podium finish, however a wrong turning early on in the race saw them, and a few other runners,  lose precious time and win an extra few kilometres to the route.  Despite ending up dead last by the time they got back on track with the rest of the runners, their valiant efforts saw them move forward to take their place amongst the top ten finishers of the category.  Winner of the race was veteran athlete Carmen Hili. Hili is no stranger to winning races but this was her first trail run win. Second placed was Dzintra Grech who was followed by Isotta Rossoni.  Despite their detour, Abdilla, Bonello Spiteri retain their top placing on the overall classification. They are joined by Dzintra Grech in third place.

“We are really making huge strides in this sport.  Runners are realising the benefits of trail running – new routes, off the beaten track and away from traffic and noise.  Though competition is fierce the overall atmosphere is more relaxed and a lot of our runners have commented about the fact that the pressure is far less in these races”, explained Warren Muscat, President, Agones SFC.

Immediately after the race, goody bags from Vivian Corporation and cash vouchers from Eurosport Malta were given to all participants.  Trophies were presented to the top three athletes in each category.

The next outing for the Eurosport Trail Running League will be the Victoria Lines classic, where history and some of Malta’s best scenery meet.  The Race, which crosses the whole breadth of the island from Madliena to Fomm ir-Riħ, consists of 19km of trail, paths, country roads and valleys making it an unforgettable experience. The Race will take place on Sunday 22nd April. Registration is open and can be done online on www.agones-sfc.eu or at Eurosport in Birkirkara on Thursday 19th April.

Results -  Munxar Race 3

 

1st Place

Ryan Farrugia

Carmen Hili

2nd Place

Alan Curmi

Dzintra Grech

3rd Place

Jonathan Ebejer

Isotta Rossoni

 

Overall Classification

 

1st Place

Jonathan Ebejer

Tara Abdilla

2nd Place

Ackerly Hili

Danica Bonello Spiteri

3rd Place

Darius Goodwin

Dzintra Grech

 

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