It’s been a busy week for Challenge Family – having announced the addition of Puerto Varos, Chile (March 2022) to their schedule earlier this week, now we have news of expansion in Europe and specifically Malta.
The island will play host to the middle-distance Challenge Malta on Sunday May 15, 2022.
Malta has a long history with triathlon and is somewhere I’ve visited, trained and raced as far back as 1993. In more recent years, Super League Triathlon has visited the island several times.
If you are looking for an early-season triathlon combined with a holiday destination and easy access, then Challenge Malta would seemingly have plenty to offer.
Malta up for the Challenge
Malta packs a glorious variety into its small archipelago. Its landscape contrasts rocky stretches of coast which end in dizzying limestone cliffs with sheltered bays that hide crystal-clear water and red-gold beaches. Combine that with its exotic mix of Italian, French, British and Arabic influences in both architecture and cuisine along with 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, and Malta is an exciting new destination for the long distance triathlon world.
“Malta is eager to welcome Challenge Family to the island,” said race director, Charlie Demanuele.
“Although small, Malta ticks so many boxes for triathletes wanting a scenic yet challenging and spectator-friendly route, good weather and a friendliest of welcomes. We are sure Challenge Malta will be the most memorable of races”.
“Attracting international athletes to Malta gives local athletes the opportunity to race against high level athletes on their home turf. Events like Challenge Malta are very much welcome as they also provide a motivation for local athletes to compete and act as ambassadors for our island” commented Clifton Grima, Parliamentary Secretary for Sports, Recreation and Voluntary Organisations
“Malta’s potential for sports tourism is an area the Maltese government has been working hard to develop to make it one of the country’s economic pillars. Major international events like Challenge are the perfect opportunity for Malta to show its mettle in this particular niche,” explained Clayton Bartolo, Minister for Tourism.
“Malta is famous for its amazing climate and breath-taking landscapes, as well as its rich and varied culture – what better destination for athletes looking to combine a remarkable race experience with a trip to remember,” said Challenge Family CEO, Jort Vlam.
“When considering new race destinations, Challenge Family always looks beyond a stunning course and expert organisation to what else can enhance the athlete experience – and Malta can do that in bucket loads! We’re very much looking forward to working with Charlie and his team, along with the Maltese government to share this incredible country with the international triathlon community and their families.”
Athletes will start their race with a 1.9km swim in the crystal clear of waters of Golden Bay on the north-west coast of Malta. Its Blue Flag certification puts Golden Bay up among the best beaches in the world.
The 90km bike is a four-lap course that runs across the island from the west to east coast and back, taking in a mix of the rural interior and dramatic coastal roads, including the renowned Salina coast road.
Exiting T2 in Golden Bay, the 21.1km point-to-point run crosses the island along varied terrain with a spectacular finish line right on the waterfront of the historic town of Sliema on the east coast.