Cilia, Galea top veterans’ charts in Marsascala
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Cilia, Galea top veterans’ charts in Marsascala

Evergreen... Veteran runner Charles Cilia (no.447) was declared winner of the Masters Road Race in Marsascala, last weekend. Photo: Wally Galea

Evergreen... Veteran runner Charles Cilia (no.447) was declared winner of the Masters Road Race in Marsascala, last weekend. Photo: Wally Galea

With Charlton Debono and Lisa Marie Bezzina having wrapped up the 2015-16 MAAA Road Running League title with a race to spare, the Masters Road Race took centre-stage, last weekend.

The 10-kilometre race was held in Marsascala on Sunday concurrently with the final leg of the Road Running League and saw the participation of around 50 veteran athletes.

The final winners were decided only after the age-grading tables, which compare performances at different ages, were taken into account.

Mellieħa AC runner Andrew Grech recovered sufficiently well from the Rotterdam Marathon he ran only seven days earlier to pull away from the rest of the field.

He crossed the finish line in 32 minutes 39 seconds, almost a minute-and-a-half ahead of his nearest rival.

That large margin, however, was not enough for him to make up for the difference in age between Grech and Agones SFC’s Charles Cilia.

Thirteen years his senior, Cilia, 50, was declared winner with a corrected time of 30.51, his actual time being 34.42.

Fifty-one-year-old Pembroke Athleta AC runner Brian Magri, some 44 seconds behind, was the runner-up, with Grech having to settle for third overall due to the age handicap.

Likewise, in the women’s race, Bezzina (Pembroke Athleta), who ran a personal best of 36.21, more than a minute faster than Rita Galea of Mellieħa AC, had to settle for second place on corrected time despite breasting the tape first.

The age grading tables, in fact, gave 45-year-old Galea, who has shown a massive improvement this season, a time of 35.02, more than a minute faster than Bezzina.

Third was Carmen Hili. The St Patrick’s athlete was making a return to competitive running after a long injury lay-off.

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