The MAAA road running league continued at Tal-Maqluba in a repeat venue as the Siggiewi route this year is still undergoing extensive road-works. Following a mild showing at the first leg Pembroke Athleta road managed a better placing and moved up the team classification in this second leg in the team event for the ladies. As Lisa Bezzina consolidated her dominance emerging top gun once again with her best-ever timing on this route and well poised in her quest to top the individual classification, Gianella Bugeja, our latest signing, albeit not in her best physical condition and Celine Pace managing a one-two in 7th and 8th spot, kept up the pressure on the leaders in the eam event, this time gaining an overall lead of 4 points over Libertas and 6 points over St Patrick’s, to narrow the overall lead enjoyed by the latter to 12 points with half that vis-a-vis Libertas. Maintaining this progress, admittedly an up-hill task, our girls may yet tip the balance in the next three legs to be crowned champions. With the team fielding other athletes supporting our first three, like Joanne Gauci, Lorna Mifsud, the up and coming youngster Vella sisters, Alison Portanier Mifsud and Paula Caruana, the girls will surely take heart to have a go at it. Well done Girls, you’re making the Club Proud!
The men’s competition saw the welcome return of Luke Micallef. His fourth placing meant that with Matthew Scicluna (10th), Mark Herrera, (12th), himself improving over a not so good patch and Andrew Gauci (34th) amassing a total of 60 points, the team has emerged as the nearest challenger to the powerful Mellieha equipe, leap-frogging over the Gozitan team of Athletix and Raptorz. However the long road ahead will prove to be a tough battle with just one point separating Pembroke from Athletix. Nevertheless our team showed the most progress over the first leg and the fact that there is a good backup of other athletes, too many to mention, that help to keep our competitors at bay, could be enough for Pembroke to finish second if not to regain the crown. The Club also takes heart with the performance of the younger members like Shawn Mallia, Nigel Puli and new-comer Blake Cook who also deserve our encouragement. Well done to all! As with the girls, Pembroke Athleta is proud of your dedication and commitment!
The next league commitment is now the Qawra 10km where hopefully the teams, welcoming back other members from recuperation, and perhaps with the longer distance more to the liking of some, can maintain the momentum towards the final glorious targets.