September has turned out to be my month of comebacks – to a race (the Swieqi 5K) and, a fortnight ago, the track. The last time my running shoes tasted tartan was in 2011. Then it was at the Marsa track but my return to the running lanes was closer to home – Mellieha.
This open air sports complex is located on the periphery of the hill top town of Mellieha, straddling the road leading to Selmun. The track itself is sized to the local community – 4 lanes with the outermost being 246 metres in length. Part of it is sunk into the ground and can actually be traversed with a pedestrian bridge leading to the multi-purpose court, picnic area and toilet facilities. Once you run through this part, you emerge onto the panoramic part, with spledid views of Selmun Castle and its wild environs, and Qawra, the star fish shaped National Aquarium visible at the tip.
Like most of the other training sessions I’ve been doing, my workout at this track was in the pitch black that draped the 5.30 hour. I went epuipped with a head torch but was pleasantly surprised to find the whole complex well-lit. I didn’t even need to turn on the back-light of the Garmin 620 to check the metrics of the speed session while running round. As I have already mentioned, I started off “at night”, even though officially it was already day time. However, as I lapped around lane 4, the sky started diluting and my eyes veered away from the circling lane to take in the changing skyscape. As I watched nature play with its colour palette, I realized how lucky I was to make my return to the track at such a well-maintained facility and in such a charming location.