The Road Running League resumed with the first MAAA organised event for 2018 at Bugibba/Qawra last Sunday 7 January. Cold weather it wasn’t, surprisingly, but the absence of quite a few familiar faces did not give credit to this race, traditionally not a fast course due to the prevailing wind conditions.
In fact, at this third outing, our club sorely missed the presence of current Champion Lisa Marie Bezzina, currently enjoying her best season ever. Although Lisa remains on course to defend her title, provided she completes the legs at Ta’ Qali and Marsaskala, the challenge for a better podium in the team event may appear to be insurmountable, although the battle will not conclude before the fifth leg. Our valiant team on the day was made up of Catherine Cuschieri, Hannah Pace and Lorraine Xuereb, toting up 50 penalty points for a temporary total of 96 points over three encounters, somewhat off second placed Libertas on 61 points.
In the individual competition for men, Luke Micallef, following up on his memorable success in the Pisa Half-Marathon, proved to be our flag-bearer for the club, finishing just short of the 32 minute mark to come in at third in a 101-male field. Currently Luke is enjoying a joint third spot in the classification, alongside Mellieha’s Andrew Grech on 7 penalty points. Both athletes have competed in two events out of three; therefore their placing in the next two legs will prove crucial. As, like Lisa, Luke is enjoying a super season, the backing of his fellow athletes and the characteristic club support will definitely be there to push this dedicated person to a position worthy of his commitment. Followed by the great-hearted Brian Magri, Mark Mifsud and David Herrera, our Males’ team is still clinging to the second spot, with 213 penalty points, having the lead over rivals St Patrick’s cut down to 34 points.
Much encouragement and a stronger presence of the athletes missing at Bugibba will hopefully retain the Club at this high position, even as, besides the Saints, newly formed Raptorz lie only 4 points further back.
So Come On You Reds, let’s continue keeping our Club at the highest pinnacle!
Anthony Fava, PRO.