Ryan Farrugia and Jemima Farley stole the headlines in the 2021 XTERRA Gozo Trails when setting new course records on their way to victory on Saturday.
Despite the terrible weather, 450 athletes and enthusiasts braved the mud and the cold to run around the whole perimeter of Gozo in this year’s race.
Participants between the ages of 17 and 70 years took part in the XTERRA Gozo Trails, with distances of 51km, 21km and 11km on option.
A record number of people across all the events, with no less than 130 people ran the Maltese islands only Ultramarathon. The circumnavigation of Gozo attracted over 50 foreign athletes, mainly French, to our sister island.
Farrugia and Farley broke the course records despite the muddy conditions.
Farrugia covered the 51km distance in four hours 29 minutes and 35 seconds to finish ahead of Antonin Le Trocquer (4:31.12) and Brais Mourino Garcia (4:53:15).
In the women’s division Farley finished an impressive fourth overall but top the women’s standings in a new course record of four hours 56 minutes and four seconds.
Dzintra Grech was second in 5:29.46 with Manon Badani completing the podium in 5:37.53.
Other creditable performances were by Imed Ben Moussa (1:34.27) and Rosalie Borg Cauchi (1:53.03) who won the 21k race with exceptional times.
“This is the best race on the calendar if you love the outdoors. I will keep coming back to enjoy the amazing scenery around Gozo, off the beaten track. The organisation is really friendly and supportive of everyone,” said Doreen Pace, who completed the 51k winning her age group.
“Our races are so welcoming because the many volunteers that give up their time to support those that want to push their limits. They spent the whole day standing out in the rain, cheering participants on, helping them with food, drinks and minor medical care. It’s uplifting to see people give up their most precious resource of time to be part of this event, in an era when we are always so busy.” explained Karla Grima, volunteers coordinator at XTERRA Malta.
The Gozo Trails are part of an international series of events, and the winners of each age group receive an invite to race in Hawaii, at the XTERRA World Trail Championships.
In a statement, the organisers thanked the Għajsielem Local Council, the Malta Tourism Authority, Farsons, Intersport, Garmin, Nature Valley, Go&Fun, Giuseppe’s in Għajnsielem, and all those that supported the event.
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