Agones SFC recently hosted the Cross Country National Championships which were endorsed and held under the auspices of the Malta Triathlon Federation.

The Race which consisted of a 750m open water swim, an 18km cycle and a run saw the biggest participation ever in such a triathlon race.

Representing 11 countries, the start list saw 30 individual participants, 16 relay teams and 25 athletes taking part in the junior and children’s category.

Despite an early morning start, the heat and humidity on the day posed increased challenges to the off road route. Nevertheless the competition was fierce.

First out of the water was Jai Patel (10:52) followed by Lara Buttigieg (13:02) and Marlon Zammit (13:47).

On the bike lap Mark Bonnici showed his prowess in this discipline having years of mountain biking experience under his belt to register the fastest time in this segment (40:02), he was followed by veteran triathlete Brian Magri, who entered the second transition 48 seconds behind Bonnici.

Third placed was Enrico Brandamante (44:51). The decisive part of the triathlon the 5k run saw Noel Quinn clock the fastest time (18:54) followed by Brian Magri (21:27) and Dhiren Patel (25.30). With an overall time of 1:19:01, Brian Magri sealed his first championship title.

“I was extremely satisfied with my performance. My swim segment was rather poor as usual, however I made up for it in the bike and run segment, which I felt were excellent considering my age” Fifty four year old Brian Magri took up triathlon eleven years ago and earlier on this year took up mountain biking completing all the races on the circuit.” I have never raced off road before, so this was a great experience for me. The fact that I raced on the mountain bike circuit this year really helped my race today”. Brian Magri, Male Cross Triathlon National Champion.

In the female segment, Lara Buttigieg had a comfortable lead all the way to also secure her first championship title. Buttigieg clocked a time of 1:42:34. In second place was Louise Giglio 2:12:51 who was followed by Elisabeth Beemer (2:19:40).

“This is really a fun race with a fantastic atmosphere. Although I have raced on more technical routes, it was still physically challenging due to the heat and humidity. Very happy to have finished and over the moon to take home the title, something I have worked hardest for this year. Big thanks to my Club Agones SFC, coaches Danica Bonello Spiteri, Roland Eskudt and Body Works” Lara Buttigieg Female Cross Triathlon National Champion.

The Race saw 16 relay teams take part. Teams were made up of an interesting mix of athletes where veterans and top athletes in their respective discipline teamed up with lesser experience athletes to create a fun yet competitive environment.

Winner of the Relay Category were Andre Camilleri (Swim), Patrick Scicluna (Bike) and Ivan Gauci (Run). Fast segments splits were registered by Andre Camilleri (Swim), Christian Abela (Bike) and Brian Formosa (Run).

Winners of the Individual and Relay Categories have been awarded a free entry in the 2019 Xterra Malta Off Road Triathlon held in Malta in May.

“We are amazed by the consistent growth of cross country racing in Malta. This, coupled with the international element to the sport makes the field more interesting especially when compared to road triathlon. We feel that our international friends prefer cross country events when it comes to multisport events ” explained Warren Muscat, President, Agones SFC.

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Monday, November 19, 2018
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