For the first time in XTERRA history the sport is headed to the Republic of Malta, a southern European island country that lies 50-miles south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. The new XTERRA MALTA race is the evolution of the exiting Hellfire Extreme Triathlon.
XTERRA Malta will be held March 29 at the Majjistral Nature and History Park and serve as the first of 12 events in the 2015 XTERRA European Tour, offering points for amateurs and elites, 25 slots into the XTERRA World Championship, and $7,500 USD in prize money for pros.
"XTERRA Malta is a unique race that covers every aspect of what makes the Mediterranean the sought after destination that it is," said race co-founder Nathan Farrugia of Hellfire Events. "The swim is held in the crystal blue sea of the Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, with the bike and run in two side by side nature reserves, The Majjistral and the Gnejna Plateau. Supported by an experienced team that include top athletes, race organizers and passionate individuals, the focus of the XTERRA Malta race is to create an experience that participants will be drawn back to time and again."
XTERRA Malta will consist of a 1.5km Swim, a 30km Bike and a 11km Run and be based at the Golden Sands Radisson Blu Resort. The event will also feature a Sprint Distance and Relay Teams.
The XTERRRA Malta Race In Detail:
The 1.5km triangular swim on a 750m course requires a mass start and mid-way land sprint on the Golden Sands bay for two loops. This stunning venue is one of the Mediterranean's most beautiful beaches, with golden coloured sand and crystal clear water. The sea temperature is around 16 Degrees Celsius and requires a wetsuit. Transition is up a flight of steps and around 300m to the bike rack area.
The 30km mountain bike is a two-loop 15km route that passes through the Miżieb woodland area and alongside cliff edge trails in the Majjistral Park. This Natura 2000 site is a stunning natural reserve and habitat to some of Malta's and the Mediterraneans indigenous species of plant, insect and birds. The carefully maintained trails create a stunning scenic route through the park and mix in some technical trails and fast flat pathways around the park.
The 11km run is a two-loop 5.5km route on the Ġnejna plateau, overlooking Ġnejna and Riviera Martinique bays. These two smaller bays are some of the most photographed natural beauty spots on the island and the run route looks over these bays on cliff-edge trails 200m up. The route has some technical descents but is mainly flat, supported by hydration stops backed by 15th Century watch towers built by the Knights of Malta to signal and warn of invading turks.
The island of Malta is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, and it is said that the Maltese welcome is "as warm as our climate."
"Whilst the beautiful beaches and rugged nature reserves are some of the most beautiful spots in the world, Malta's archaeological and historical setting makes it a haven for travelers interested in how civilization shaped the way we live," said Farrugia. "Interestingly, Malta's neolithic temples are older that Stonehenge and the Pyramids. Malta has been the melting pot of Greek, Roman, Norman, Anglo-Saxon, British and Italian civilizations, but is perhaps best known for the Knights of Malta, that fought off the invading Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, in the living monument cities of Valletta and Mdina."
Malta is easily reached by a cosmopolitan link to most European countries, including through its National Airline AirMalta and other low cost carriers including Ryanair, Easyjet, Lufthansa, and more.. Organizers can arrange for travel needs, bike transfers, race transport and stays in quality hotels for excellent prices through their partners.
"The hotels are situated at the race venue as well as in the popular town of St Julians, with plenty of shopping, restaurants and nightlife on your doorstep," said Farrugia.