Suc­cess­ful first edi­tion of the Żejt iż-Że­j­tun Half Marathon

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Some 120 ath­letes par­tic­i­pated in the first edi­tion of the Żejt iż-Że­j­tun Half Marathon hosted last week in Że­j­tun.

The Żejt iż-Że­j­tun Half Marathon was spread over three loops of a 7.035-kilo­me­tre route round the his­toric lo­cal­ity of Że­j­tun. Be­sides ath­letes who chose to run the half marathon in full, a num­ber of par­tic­i­pants also chose to run as a re­lay in teams of three run­ners who ran 7km each. The event also at­tracted par­tic­i­pa­tion of chil­dren in a 650-me­tre fun-run and a 2.6kilo­me­tre fun-run.

Charl­ton De­bono came first in the male sec­tion, com­plet­ing the half marathon in 1hr 14mins, fol­lowed by David Galea in sec­ond place at 1hr 27mins 14 secs and Mauro De­sira in third place at 1hr 27mins 24secs.

The fe­male sec­tion was dom­i­nated by Josanne At­tard Pulis, who com­pleted the half marathon in 1hr 32mins. Amanda Rapa came sec­ond with a time of 1hr 42mins and Mau­reen Far­ru­gia placed third at 1hr 47mins.

The re­lay sec­tion of the half marathon was won by the team com­posed of Caro­line Ci­ap­para, Jonathan Balzan and Mary Grace Demi­coli, who to­gether clocked a fi­nal tim­ing of 1hr 30min.

“As a first edi­tion, we were de­lighted with the re­sponse and the par­tic­i­pa­tion shown to­wards this event which ap­pealed to par­tic­i­pants be­cause of the un­usual lo­cal­ity and the rel­a­tively very fast route,” said Dar­ryl Grima from 5 Senses Malta who organised the event with event owner Star­max Club and the col­lab­o­ra­tion of the Że­j­tun Lo­cal Coun­cil.

“The nov­elty about this event was mostly owed to the fact that the Żejt iż-Że­j­tun Half Marathon com­bined sports with his­tory, cul­ture, life­style and deepshared roots of the Mediter­ranean coun­tries with a strong con­nec­tion to olive oil pro­duc­tion. In fact, this ini­tia­tive sup­ports a more sus­tain­able model of tourism that cares about re­spect­ing the lo­cal ecosys­tem and its tra­di­tional ac­tiv­i­ties.”

The Żejt iż-Że­j­tun Half Marathon was the cul­mi­na­tion of the project HOST - Her­itage of Olive Tree for Sus­tain­able Tourism – an EU­funded project hosted in Italy, Slove­nia, Malta and Greece. FOOT - Fit On Olive Trails is the brand cre­ated by HOST for the run­ning events. In fact, a marathon has al­ready been held in Koper (Slove­nia) and a trail in the Mon­tepisano area (Italy). The Żejt iż-Że­j­tun Half Marathon will now be fol­lowed by an­other trail in Les­bos (Greece) in Oc­to­ber. These are all lo­ca­tions with a strong con­nec­tion to the cul­ture of olive oil pro­duc­tion.

HOST is an EU-funded project co-fi­nanced by the COSME programme of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion with an over­all bud­get of €239,991 for a pe­riod of 18 months from June 2015.

The project is led by Fon­dazione Cam­pus in Italy and in­cludes an­other five in­ter­na­tional part­ners in­clud­ing: Time­sis srl, The Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Koper, The Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre Koper, ETAL SA and 5 Senses Ltd rep­re­sent­ing Malta.

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