Maltese Trail runners at Lavaredo Ultra Trail-Cilia place12th in Skyrace

Tuesday, July 12, 2016, 22:34

Gavin Muscat

Charlie Cilia, Carmel Vella and Nadia Portelli (Agones SFC)  and Sue Mercieca (St Patricks AC), last week participated in the Lavaredo Ultra Trail and Skyraces (Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy)  with Charlie Cilia placing 12th position in the Skyrace out of 391 participants with a time of 2 hours and 2 minutes.

The second edition of the Skyrace which is a 20km race up mountainous terrain and scree with an elevation of 1000m took place in unusually hot temperatures for this mountain range. The winner of the Skyrace Daniel Jung (ITA) cut the ribbon in 1 hour and 40 minutes. Cilia’s positive result in this competition puts him in a good mood for the upcoming European Mountain Championships which will be held in Arco di Trento Italy on 3rd July and where he shall be representing Malta. Mercieca finished the Skyrace in 3 hours and 22 minutes in 80th position (F) (253 overall) . The Skyrace takes the participants running up to a maximum of 2100m above sea level.

Meanwhile on saturday Carmel Vella and Nadia Portelli put their guts to the test in the Cortina Trail which is a 47km trail race with an elevation of 2650m D+. It being their second participation in this gruelling ultra trail Vella and Portelli aimed to better their time from last year which is exactly what they did when they clocked 7 hours and 25 minutes and 7 hours 38 minutes respectively. Around 1600 competitors took part in this race — hailing from all over the world. Vella placed in 257th position (Male) (293 overall) while Portelli came in 42nd (F) position (350 overall). Exalted after the race, they both expressed their joy after completing this tough event and bettering their time from the previous year. The first male Sebastjan Zarnik from Slovenia clocked 4 hours and 47 minutes while the first female Hillary Allen (USA) arrived in 5 hours 15 minutes. All participants in this competition were at times running at over 2300 metres above sea level.

The Lavaredo races in Cortina d’Ampezzo in the province of Belluno, Italy are famous within the trail running league and attract competitors from all over the world who cross oceans to come and race up and down the Dolomites. All of the races at the Lavaredo Ultra Trail – which have strict cut-off times, garner points to the finishers – which points would be valid for the holy grail of the trail runners; the Ultra Trail the Mont Blanc (UTMB) series of competitions which are held in Chamonix France in the last week of August.

Trail running is a form of running over trails and mountain terrain and where there are different ascents and descents. The shoes also vary from road running as they have thicker lugs. The sport which has doubled in popularity particularly since 2009. The International Trail Running Association (ITRA) was formed in 2013 and subsequently amended its statutes and is now recognised by the world athletics body the IAAF. Agones SFC is the local organiser of the trail running competitions.

Charlie Cilia

L to R - Sue Mercieca, Nadia Portelli, Carmel Vella and Charlie Cilia

Leave a comment