Athletics: Debono and Schembri win honours in Kalkara

Tuesday, December 20, 2016, 12:47

Gavin Muscat

Charlton Debono and Roberta Schembri emerged victorious in the recently held fourth edition of the Urban Jungle House of Sport 10ks Road Running Series.

Held in Kalkara, the 10k race saw approximately 300 athletes run two loops of 5kms in relatively adverse weather conditions with low temperatures, strong headwinds and an intermittent drizzle.

In the men’s race it was unlikely that Charlton Debono would break his winning streak having shown a very consistent performance in his racing schedule this year, though there was no doubt athletes like Mario Grech, Luke Micallef and Jonathan Balzan were not going to let him off lightly. The first loop saw them run in a solid group with Debono leading the pack. Picking up the pace in the second loop Debono pulled ahead of the pack to win with a lead of 39 seconds over Grech who pipped Micallef to second place for just one second. Jonathan Balzan came in fourth place.

“I am very happy with my continuous progress and recent results. I’ve been racing a lot lately and I’m happy with the results achieved, most notably my personal best time in the 5km MAAA Road Running League race at Tal-Maqluba with a time of 15 minutes 21 seconds. Today’s win, in cold and windy weather was very satisfying. I hope to keep this momentum going for the remaining races of the season” commented a very pleased Debono after the race.

The female’s race saw Roberta Schembri make a welcome return to the running fold, having taken a short break from racing due to pregnancy.  What started off as a hotly contested race between Hannah Pace and Gianella Bugeja, the race slowly progressed into a three horse race with Schembri quietly moving quietly and steadily ahead in the ranks to lead the group and win the race in a time of 38:24 seconds. Second to cross the finish line was National Triathlon Champion Hannah Pace who finished in a time of 39:08 whilst third placed was Gianella Bugeja in a time of 39:21

“My baby girl was born three months ago, and although I kept on running throughout my pregnancy I never thought I’d come back to racing and achieving this time – especially considering the weather and route” enthused Schembri. “My thoughts whilst running centre around my daughter and hope that she will grow to love running as much as I do – that will be my motivation”.

The Race also saw the return of a large number of regular runners as well as some international athletes who enjoyed running on a fairly new, albeit challenging route. For the first time in the series, athletes benefitted from electronic timing provided by ARRTS Race Timing systems.

The next edition of the Urban Jungle House of Sport 10k series is scheduled to take place on Sunday 15th January 2017 and registrations will be opening in the coming days.

The Series are supported by Urban Jungle House of Sport, emvigee pr & marketing, Garmin Malta, Starmax and Pro Action.

Charlton Debono

Roberta Schembri

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