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Joe Micallef to organise half marathon on same day of charity run

Transport Malta have not received any permit applications for Qrendi race

Malta Marathon organiser Joe Micallef is inviting athletes who had registered to take part in the now-cancelled 2022 race to run a half-marathon in Qrendi, on March 6, the same day that the SportMalta Charity Marathon is being organised by the government, the Times of Malta can reveal.

During the past weeks, there has been a lot of controversy on this year’s Malta Marathon which has been cancelled by the organising committee after a clash on the race route with Transport Malta.

Following the cancellation of the Malta Marathon, Sport Malta and Transport Malta have teamed up to organise their own marathons – half and full – on the same route they had proposed to the Malta Marathon organisers, starting from Mdina Gate in Rabat and finishing at Sliema Ferries on March 6.

Initially, Micallef had accepted SportMalta’s invitation to join the organising committee of the newly-formed race but pulled out just 24 hours later, saying that he wanted to disassociate himself from the race.

Now it has emerged that Micallef has invited runners who had originally applied to take part in the Malta Marathon to either take part in a half-marathon race in Qrendi, which is being held without the necessary permits from the authorities, or complete their own route on the same day without traffic control officials so they can receive the Malta Marathon medal they were promised before the annual event was cancelled.

Micallef said that no new applications are needed to take part in these new initiatives but only those who have a gadget that records routes will be eligible to earn their 2022 Malta Marathon medal.

“Following the disappointment of having to cancel the 2022 Malta Marathon due to authorities imposing unsafe route, we still want to give you an opportunity to earn the authentic large, heavy and thick Malta Marathon medal and the Malta Marathon T-shirt,” read the email sent by Joe Micallef to the athletes who had registered for the annual race.

“The route must not start in or pass through Mdina, Rabat, or Mtarfa or be within the surroundings and must start at any time between 6.30am and 8.30am on March 6 and should ideally stay away from the route of the Malta Marathon that had to be cancelled.

“Obviously your route will not be traffic-free and there will be no traffic officers to keep you safe, so be cautious and keep yourself safe.

“To get your 2022 Malta Marathon T-Shirt you will need to show proof of satisfying these conditions.”

Micallef also informed the registered athletes that there was an alternative race being held – a half-marathon in Qrendi.

“Alternatively, there is a half marathon being held in Qrendi, starting at 6.45 and also finishing from a site known as Il-Maqluba,” Micallef wrote.

“This run is being held in solidarity with those who were going to participate in the Malta Half Marathon.

“The 2022 Malta Marathon medal and the Malta Marathon T-Shirt will be given out at the finish.”

Interested runners in this race need to apply for this half marathon and the cost is €10.

The Times of Malta made contact with Transport Malta to ask if it had issued any permits for this race so far and the authority said that no applications have been submitted for this event.

On the other hand, Athletics Malta said that the Qrendi half marathon was not recognised by the governing body and added that they disassociate themselves from races that are held without the necessary permits.

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