Triathlon is a sport that is intrinsically connected to the hot, summer months, where the athletes race under the scorching heat and in humid conditions. But Triathlon Malta has come up with a novel idea to give the triathlon community a new, exciting challenge which will be held in the middle of winter and in the coldest of all months.
The idea of a ‘Winter Triathlon’ came up after the Federation was approached by the Reġjun Tramuntana to organise a new, different kind of triathlon and in different location in the Northern Region. Thus, the first edition of the Reġjun Tramuntana Winter Triathlon Challenge was born and the race will be held on Sunday 20 January.
Apart from the cold temperatures and wintry conditions, the athletes will also face other challenges, mainly the elevations of the course itself. In fact, after a swim in the cold waters at Ġnejna, the athletes would start there cycle along one of the most notorious uphill stretches in the Maltese Islands, all the way up of Tas-Santi Hill to il-Kunċizzjoni in Rabat. This hill presents an elevation of 230 metres in just 4KM giving the athletes an exciting challenge all along the route. Once the cycling segment of the race is done, the athletes will leave their bikes at Il-Kunċizzjoni and start the run, which presents a very demanding descent to the Fiddien Valley in the first half, while presenting an excruciating final 3KM of continuous uphill until an exhilarating finish through the iconic Mdina Gate.
The list of participants presents some of the most hardened triathletes in the local scene together with some healthy numbers of new faces and athletes who will be making their triathlon debut in this race.
In a brief statement, Cyprian Dalli, President of the Malta Triathlon Federation and Race Organiser stated that : ‘bringing together this type of Triathlon is a logistic headache, since it is not our usla type of organisation and we have to man 3 different venues at one go. However, since we were strongly supported by the Reġjun Tramuntana and we received a lot of enthusiasm by the local triathlon community, we decided to go for it. Its exciting preparing and planning such a race which will take the athletes along some of the most impeccable and untouched rough natural surroundings these islands have to offer and we are doing all we can to deliver a fun, exciting and safe race for all participants’.
Mr Anthony Mifsud, President of the Northern Region declared that : ‘since its inception, Regjun Tramuntana has been a strong believer that Sport is an important part of community cohesion and community belonging. When we carried out the economic, social and cultural plan, Sport was identified as one of the 6 pillars on which the Region should work. Thus when the Triathlon Malta approached us with a Winter Triathlon, we immediately accepted the idea and set forth to organise this as the very first activity, a competitive race spread over three of our localities, - Mgarr, Rabat and Mdina. We believe strongly in such activities and look forward to organise other activities within our region, bringing together athletes and the communities together’.
The race will start at 8am this Sunday from Ġnejna, limits of l-Imġarr and is expected to finish at the Mdina Gate between 9am and 9:30am. Spectators are encouraged to attend especially at the finish to congratulate athletes crossing the finish line.
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