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Xterra Gozo Trail Run

04-May-2019 Gozo, Malta

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2 REVIEWS
Trail Race Race Terrain
55KM / 34Miles
1 Day - 200 Runners

Alternate Distances: 21KM/13M 55KM/34M

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Intermediate  

Xterra Gozo Ultra Trail 2019

This unique race has two events, a 50km ultra and a shorter 21km race. The route will take you all around the island of Gozo across stunning cliff edges, mystical valleys and amazing beaches in the heart of the Mediterranean.

Local organisers Hellfire Events is thrilled to partner with Xterra International which is growing every year!

The full Trail Run is 50km with 4 checkpoints throughout the route starting from and finishing in Ghajnsielem, close to Mgarr harbour, the ferry terminal. The shorter 21km distance is the last part of the full distance starting near Ghasri.

The course is a gorgeous circumnavigation of the island which covers cliff edge single tracks, lush valleys and water courses, seaside salt pans, sandy beaches and rocky terrain. In short, you will experience the breathtaking scenery the mediterranean has to offer in one race!

The course has a total elevation of circa D1,500m with two steep parts. The rest is undulating gradient that will allow you to enjoy the sights and views while covering distance relatively fast.

The route is well marked and has 4 rest stops. It requires semi sufficiency carrying water and some food.

It is also possible to take part in the non competitive Mountain Bike event which is also 50km. The bikers may need to carry their bikes over some parts that are too awkward to cycle.


Register online at www.maltaxterra.com/shop

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Event Organiser
Nathan Farrugia

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review Xterra Gozo Trail Run

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Ben

08:57 12-05-19

Best running experience in Malta!

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UKRunCat

04:58 04-05-16

I completed the Gozo 55k Ultra Trail as part of my 12 ultra's in 12 month challenge in 2016. I signed up after a friend in Malta had sent me the details and it was only much later when I started to look into it that I realised that it was possibly going to be far tougher than I'd expected.

The route essentially circumnavigates Gozo, the smaller neigbour to Malta and after starting in Ghajnsalem at 8am the route quickly reached the absolutely stunning cliff edge, but it didn't remain on the cliff tops long as we soon reached the first of many technical descents into a stunning bay before the corresponding short steep ascent the other side followed. This essentially becomes the order of the day but the descents get harder and the climbs become longer and steeper as the day progresses. The climb out of Xlendi is straight up a sheer rock face but for each climb you're treated to absolutely breath-taking views, none more amazing than the vista back to Dwerja and the Azure Window after the second check-point, made all the better by the official photographer locating themselves here to capture you passing for a fantastic race photo.

The landscape after this changes as you pass through a completely alien world as the route takes you under limestone formations created by the rock being eroded by the wind and sea before arriving at the ancient salt pans before Marsalforn.

The race then takes on another personality altogether as the trail changes to single track traversing the cliff edges and takes in several very steep climbs, providing views of Ramla Bay and the final one taking you into Calypo's Cave, where according to legend Odysseus stayed during his Odyssey.

The route now follows a series of enclosed roads and tracks before eventually reaching the coast and the final CP with just 7 miles left to cover. The majority of the last stretch follows the coast but features some frankly ludicrous scrambles down loose rocky descents and rocky climbs before a metal rung ladder climb is thrown in for good measure! There is (of course) a final ascent up to Ghajnsalem and the welcome finish to what was an unforgiving, unrelenting, unforgettable, unbelievable experience.

After the race the organisers also put on a pasta party at a local country club giving you the chance to get a good meal, recap the days adventures and watch the presentation ceremony, a fitting end to a fabulous day.

The race is outstanding value and flights to Malta are fairly cheap and accommodation on Malta or Gozo is plentiful and well priced so there is no good reason not to add this to your must do list.

You can read my full race report (and see the photos)here: https://ukruncat.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/gozo-55km-ultra-trail-ultra-4-of-12/

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