While on holiday in Malta, Murdo discovered there was a Half Marathon on and, as it would have been rude not to, took the opportunity and took part. With the exception of a couple of short, sharp hills after 10 miles, the route is all downhill from Mdina to the coast at Sliema. Hot weather and a strong headwind also added a wee bit of spice. An excellent, friendly event but tougher than you might expect.
As we were going to Malta on holiday, on checking, their annual marathon and half marathon were being held during our stay. Having opted for the half, it was a straight forward matter of applying via the event website. Had to send a cheque as they didn’t accept credit cards and the bank transfer costs were prohibitive – wasn’t an issue.
Picked up number and embedded chip the night before from a local sports shop. Also included was a nice t-shirt and a drop-off black bag for clothes etc. The marathon started at 0800, the walking half marathon at 0900 and the half marathon at 1000. As it was a point-to-point, you could book a bus place to the start for a couple of euros. I caught the 0815 bus, there for 0845, and had a pleasant hour wandering around Mdina before the start. Weather was warm if not hot around 20 degrees but there was a stiff headwind all the way.
The route is downhill apart from a couple of short climbs at around mile 10ish. Found the constant downhill’s very tiring particularly the steeper bits and finished feeling as wabbit as after any marathon I’ve run. There was plenty of water stops supplemented by “gatorade” stops all manned by very friendly and enthusiastic kids (scouts I think). Good support as you passed villages or junctions and a nice crowd at the finish.
Enjoyed the race, very friendly and well organised. The roads were either closed or a carriageway was blocked off with the junctions etc well policed. Huge medal on finishing! I’d recommend the race but don’t think it’s easier because it’s predominantly downhill, it’s tougher than you may think. I think, however, the marathon would be a serious test.