The 2023 Malta Marathon returns this weekend when the 38th edition is set to be held on Sunday.
The target of 2,300 registered participants set by the organisers this year has already been reached.
The Malta Marathon will get under way from Mdina at 7am, while the Half Marathon and the Walkathon start at 8.15am. The finish line for all three race will be Sliema Ferries.
Favourites for victory in the marathon are Moroccan athletes Hicham Boufars and Redouan Nouini.
Boufars, who holds a record of 2:12:16, is fresh from two consecutive victories. He first triumphed in the Murcia Marathon in Spain and last Sunday he won the San Valentino Marathon in Italy.
Competing against him will be Nouini, 34, who holds a record of 2:23:03 set in Sofia in 2020, and last October came fourth in the Poznam Marathon in Poland with a time of 2:13:22.
Both runners will be chasing, not only the overall victory, but also the race record set in 2013 by another Moroccan, Muhammed Hajjy, with a time of 2:16:06.
“Having reached our target of 2,300 participants, including the presence of athletes of international repute, is testament to the importance of the MC Adventure Malta Marathon to the international scene,” said event’s organiser, Joe Micallef.
“After two years of interruption due to the pandemic, athletes from all over the world will return to Malta to run, with as many as 70 nations represented. This year we can also count on the patronage of the Italian Embassy in Malta, which will award a prize to the first blue classified (men and women) of the Half Marathon and Marathon”.
All participants will receive a race pack, as well as a special medal made of wood, with a view to an environmentally sustainable race.
Among the Maltese athletes at the start in Mdina on Sunday in the Marathon there will also be Andrew Grech in the men’s category (sixth overall in 2017 in 2:28:16) and Josann Attard Pulis in the women’s category.
On the other hand, during the Half Marathon the spotlights will be on Shaun Galea and Lisa Bezzina.
Efforts have been made to ensure a fully traffic managed route through the services of over 100 LESA officers, numerous Transport Malta officials, security officers, volunteers, and other personnel.
The organisers said that the route is not entirely closed to traffic and thus they recommend that the athletes remain situationally aware throughout the race.
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