On Sunday 26th July, members of the Malta Triathlon Federation, Jude Zammit (Agones SFC) and Mario Muscat (St. Patrick’s AC) took part in the AronaMen Triathlon. The middle distance international triathlon (covering a total of 112.9 km) event was held in the evocative Lago Maggiore region, Italy. The race was part of the Italian national ranking championship and saw the participation of their top athletes including their current favourites Massimo Cigana and Martina Dogana. Many other countries were represented namely from Germany, Russia, the US, Netherlands and the UK.
Endurances races are always full of unpredictable situations that make them even more challenging other than just trying to cover the distance. This race was not without its share of complications. Owing to strong winds and very strong currents the race judges made the use of the wetsuits obligatory despite the high water temperature. The heat also dominated the run section with temperatures over 32 C which was a problem to most participants who unlike the Maltese are not used to running in such conditions. The bike section included a fast start of 35km with the remaining 65km over very hilly and technical terrain with the most noticeable a stretch of 4.5km steep climb averaging 8.5 % gradient.
Muscat has shown his current good form and consistent improvement. He had a very strong bike segment and bettered his time from his other previous middle distance triathlons he took part earlier this year in Malta and Sicily to a total finishing time of 4hr 36m. Zammit also made a very
good time finishing at 4:54 and placing 9th in his age category (over 50). This compliments his achievements in his category this year having already placed 2nd in Sicily in April and 1st in Malta in May both middle distance championships.
Both Muscat and Zammit are preparing for Ironman Barcelona in October. This race was part of their training programme selected by their coach veteran athlete David Galea.
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