Five local triathletes cycled 156km on Wednesday as part of a mammoth seven-hour pilgrimage to visit 58 local churches. The five friends started the journey at the crack of dawn at San Ġwann parish church and gradually made their way across Malta, stopping at parish churches along the way. At 4.45pm and after around seven hours of cycling, they reached the final destination on their list of 58 churches – St Elena parish church in Birkirkara. By then, they had visited one church in each village or town in Malta. [attach id=1006442 size="large" align="left" type="image"]Mark Schram outside Safi church. [/attach] “Myself, Fabio Spiteri, Mark Schram, Kevin Muscat, and Julia Uniken Venema all train together. Mark suggested the idea and we thought it was a good way of ending this year,” said Times of Malta photographer Matthew Mirabelli, who was one of the five athletes. Schram said the day-long cycle was their way of paying tribute to Malta and its churches. "It was a difficult year for everybody, but churches give hope and spirit. They are an open house and we love that every church is different and has its own story," he said.