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Stockport’s Malta Marathon adventure

- 17th Mar 2010

Steve & Julie Fairclough and Sarah Aylmer & Mike Slater took a break from the freezing conditions of the UK to compete in the Malta full and half marathon at the end of February. Sarah was the only one doing the full marathon, with Julie, Steve and Mike electing to do the half. With temperatures in Malta over 70ºF this seemed a very sensible decision!

The couple of days prior to race were spent sightseeing, sunbathing and in Steve’s and Mike’s case drinking the local Maltese lager called ‘Cisk’. In fact this was a continuation of Steve’s pre-race training plan so in effect there was no rest day for him.

The race day dawned hot and sunny but with a stiff headwind blowing in from the sea. Both races started in the centre of the island from a medieval walled town called Mdina. The marathon started two hours earlier than the half and for the first 13miles did a loop in the centre of the island before joining the half route to the coast and finish at St Julian’s Bay.

Despite the tough conditions, a disrupted training programme and a niggling Achilles tendon, Sarah finished the marathon in 3 hours 39 minutes. She was the 11th woman in and 4th in her category. Julie Fairclough also ran an impressive half marathon in a time of 1 hour 42 minutes and was also 4th in her category. As for Steve and Mike, they completed the half in 1hour 55 minutes and 1 hour 41 minutes respectively and apart from the amount of Cisk drunk, no PB’s were under threat. After a couple of rest days replacing lost fluids, all returned to the UK and the cold.

The trip was inexpensive, the accommodation good and the race well organised. We would recommend it for any Harrier who fancies a break from the UK winter coupled with a half or full marathon race.