National Duathlon Championship

Thursday, April 1, 2010, 7:34

On Sunday 28th March, Danica Bonello Spiteri (St Patrick’s AC) and Dermot Galea (B’Kara St Joseph SC) regained the National Duathlon Championship Titles which they lost to Michelle Wood and Fabio Spiteri respectively last year. The Race, which was organized by the Malta Triathlon Association, consisted of a Run of 5km, followed by a Cycle of 30km and finishing with another Run of 3km. The Race was held at the Salina Coast Road at 8:00a.m.

On a windy day which played havoc with the athletes’ aspirations, no less than 43 individual athletes and 3 Relay Teams took part in the Championship Race, which traditionally opens the Triathlon Season. Mark Zammit and Brian Magri (Atleta Pembroke) shot to the front at the word ‘Go’ and covered the first 5km Run in just 17m:10s. They were followed by Keith Galea (B’Kara) in 17:35 and Dermot Galea in 18:04.

In the Women’s Race, Danica Bonello Spiteri and rookie Marica Micallef (St Pat’s) came in practically together in 21mins. They were followed by last year’s winner, Michelle Wood (B’Kara) eleven seconds behind.

In the Cycle segment of the Race, Dermot Galea powered to the front, covering the 30km in 44m:52s; he was followed by his younger sibling, Keith, in a time of 46:06s. Magri had the third fastest time of 47m: 19s.

Bonello Spiteri continued to build on her slight advantage by finishing the cycle in 54m:24s, two minutes ahead of Marica Micallef, who herself was just ten seconds ahead of Michelle Wood.

Despite not registering the fastest run time – that honour went to Brian Magri in 10m:31s – Dermot Galea managed to hang on to his lead to win the title in an overall time of 1hr:13m:59s. He was followed home by Keith Galea in 1hr:14m:37s, with Magri filling the 3rd place in 1hr:15m:01s.

Galea dedicated his win to his friend and mentor Dr. Michael Aquilina who passed away on Friday.

Bonello Spiteri wrapped up the Race in a time of 1hr:28m:45s after having finished the second 3km run in a time of 13m:26s. Micallef, who after the Race professed that she liked the format of the duathlon (i.e. run-cycle-run), finished in 2nd place in a time of 1hr:30m:34s, while 3rd place went to Michelle Wood in 1hr:31m:15s.

The Relay Team was won by Charlie Cilia (runner) and Fabio Spiteri (cyclist) in a time of 1hr:12m:22s.

Before the start of the Race, a minute’s silence was observed as a sign of respect for the death of Dr. Michael Aquilina, lecturer and Head of the Physical Education Department at the University of Malta.

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