Running a Marathon in Malta in 3 days

User Rating: 5 / 5

Star ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar ActiveStar Active

If you are looking for a different to way to explore new places in Malta and in the same time challenge yourself running a Marathon split in three days then the Malta International Challenge is the race to take part. It might be good way to measure your endurance running 3 days in raw starting with 10 Miles then on the following day a fast run covering 5 Kilometres and finishing off the competition with an Half Marathon.


This time, in 2019 also your local runner from Running Tours Malta and will talk about on what to expect.

Running Tours Malta: run a Marathon in 3 Days

Birkirkara St. Joseph Sports Club is the organiser of such event that is taking place usually at the end of November (from Friday until Sunday) since 1991 and over the years is becoming quite popular among locals.

However lately the Malta International Challenge is bringing also into the island more foreign runners who are happy to combine such a challenge while visiting the island. In fact the temperature at this time of the year it can be around 15/20 degrees and usually the weather is sunny, but there might be some exceptions - as soon as you will continue reading the whole Challenge.

Considering that last year nearly 70 runners managed to cover the 42.196 Km, this year there were 168. So it seems picking up in terms of popularity between clubs, foreign and local runners like myself. It is quite unusual to meet the same runners for a 3 days consecutive competition and for this reason the atmosphere is friendly considering also a quite good number of supporters showing along the route and at the starting line.


Here it is what you can sightseeing and what to expect on the 3 Stages.


Zurrieq Challenge

Stage 1: Starting from the village of Siggiewi and passing by Zurrieq and Blue Grotto

Elevation gain: 259 m

KM: 16.094km

The starting line is near the main church of the Siggiewi and as 1st Stage will cover 10 Miles going around the South-West area of Malta. From Siggiewi the route is going towards the coast line where the scenic Temples of Ħaġar Qim and Mnaidra are located. This part of the race is mostly downhill along the first 5 Kilometres and it will offer a stunning view to admire. In fact while running do not forget to look at your right side so you will notice the small island of Filfla and also the Blue Grotto cave. The route will pass by the edge of Zurrieq moving towards another little village called Mqabba. Last 3 Kilometres are quite challenging for the elevation, especially the last slope turning around the main church in Siggiewi - from the original starting line - will take your breath away (yes, literally!) before completing the race. Almost same itinerary is what you can get on the South of Malta Tour that will take you to admire the Temples in the Zurrieq area.

Beautiful itinerary and it is a good chance to immerse yourself  in the one of the greenest part of the island and passing through 3 villages; for sure you will be running while enjoying the best sceneries of the competition.


Stage 2: A fast run on the Marsascala promenade

Elevation gain: 82 m

KM: 5 Km

My position: 31th (00:21:33)

The day after the 1st stage it is a fast race taking place in Marsascala. It is mostly a flat route where all the fastest runners are called to improve their personal timing as I did. With a perfect weather - maybe a bit windy in some parts - the route is going along the promenade of this little village located in the South of Malta. This is the typical “clockwise” loop with the start and finish in the same place. After this short session, it is time to gain some strength and energy for the third and last stage that will bring all the 168 participants to the North of Malta.

 Bugibba Challenge


Stage 3: The Half Marathon running around Bugibba and Qawra

Elevation gain: 265 m

KM: "1/2" Marathon (21.097 km)

My position: 34th (01:46:15)

Sunday, the last day of the Malta International Challenge, started with a gloomy sky and a forecast weather that was leaving some doubts if the event would have taken place. Even though it started with quite heavy rain showers and a strong wind, the Stage 3 started as planned.

After running in the South, now it is time explore the North of Malta since the starting and finishing line was located along the seaside of Bugibba. The route moves along the Saint Paul's Bay's coast line and towards the inland area. Quiet and green surroundings is helping to enjoy the route that will go uphill towards il-Wardija area where the runners will experience the highest elevation point (97m) with a 11,7% grade. In this section it will be difficult to keep up your usual pace so better to take it easy and gain some strengths for the next kilometres. With a couple of kilometres running downhill will soon reach Bugibba and the promenade where it is required to make the last effort to reach the finish line close to the Aquarium.

Overall I finished the competition on the 32nd place out of 162 runners, however what I have enjoyed the most was the challenge to enjoy every stage and discover also new places in Malta.

So up for the next Malta International Challenge?

Stay Social

Running Tours Malta - Unique Experience

Running Tours Malta is your private running tour that will make sure you get your exercise even during your holiday. This a unique chance to visit and get to know Malta through a different perspective. You get the opportunity to run along the best scenic routes that Malta has to offer and get a feel for the island like a local runner.

While travelling you can keep up your running habits and discover the Maltese countryside at the same time. We'll match your pace so every runner is more than welcome to join our tours: from the easy going runner to the athlete on vacation and trail runners! So lace up your running shoes and select one of the scenic tours that Running Tours Malta has prepared for you with much dedication and experience. Let us make this running experience a great one, so you can go back home with a luggage-full of great memories.