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Victory for Mohamed El Morabity and Maryline Nakache – iRunFar

For the 2023 Marathon des Sables, victory goes to Mohamed El Morabity of Morocco and Maryline Nakache of France.

Happening within the Sahara Desert in Morocco, the 2023 version of the 250-kilometer (150 miles), seven-day, five-stage race kicked off on Sunday, April 23, with the ultimate aggressive stage closing on Friday, April 28.

Mohamed El Morabity - 2023 Marathon des Sables

Mohamed El Morabity on his solution to successful the 2023 Marathon des Sables. Photograph: iRunFar/Jon Bromley

Annually, greater than 1,000 runners compete within the occasion’s 5 aggressive phases, sleep at evening in campsites, and function with meals and equipment self-sufficiency. The race group supplies a shade tent within the camp, loads of water, and medical and emergency help, when wanted.

Given it takes place within the Sahara Desert, the occasion is thought for its warmth, in addition to its sandy and rocky terrain. Official climate sources pointed to temperatures tipping over the 100 levels Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) mark throughout a number of days of this 12 months’s occasion, and thermometers on the bottom pitched up above 115 levels Fahrenheit (46 Celsius).

There have been massive upsets within the latter phases of each the lads’s and ladies’s races, with nine-time champion Rachid El Morabity of Morocco withdrawing after receiving a penalty for an infringement following the fourth stage, whereas in second place within the total classification.

On the ladies’s aspect, 2019 champion, race chief for the primary three phases, and Dutch runner and agency favourite Ragna Debats struggled with digestive points in the course of the lengthy Stage 4, and fell again out of rivalry for the win.

Though Mohamed El Morabity’s victory may be considerably tainted by the controversy surrounding his older brother’s withdrawal, Mohamed ran a stormer of a race, had already completed first in three of the 4 phases, and was within the lead total on the time of the incident. Whereas he’s completed in second place a outstanding 5 occasions at this occasion – every time behind his brother — that is his first victory of the Marathon des Sables.

Girls’s champion Maryline Nakache had additionally run a gradual and constant race from the beginning, ending second in every of the primary 4 phases earlier than in the end shifting into the general girls’s lead throughout Stage 4. This was her debut Marathon des Sables.

Maryline Nakache - 2023 Marathon des Sables

Maryline Nakache, 2023 Marathon des Sables girls’s champion. Photograph: iRunFar/Jon Bromley

2023 Marathon des Sables Males’s Race

It was a speedy begin to the week, with the primary stage being about 36 kilometers lengthy, that includes a climb to the summit of this occasion’s notorious Jebel El Otfal. Stormy and windy circumstances within the afternoon made issues troublesome for the latter runners, however the entrance finish of the race was largely unaffected by the storm.

Stage 1 went alongside predicted traces, with Rachid El Morabity taking the lead and ending the stage in a time of two:46. His youthful brother, Mohamed El Morabity, and fellow Moroccan, Aziz Yachou, adopted only a minute again in 2:47. The 2022 UTMB second-place man, Mathieu Blanchard, of France, was the primary abroad runner to complete the stage, in fourth place in a time of two:51.

Stage 2 was a bit shorter at just below 32k, however it moved into extra technical terrain with elevated elevation change. Rachid once more took off in entrance, however within the latter a part of the stage and on a easy run into the end, he was overtaken by his brother Mohamed, who received the stage in a time of two:29, lower than a minute forward of Rachid in second and Yachou in third. Rachid nonetheless held the general lead by a slender margin on the finish of the stage, adopted by Mohamed and Yachou. Blanchard, who had completed fifth within the second stage behind Russia’s Vasilii Korytkin, held on to fourth place total.

Aziz Yachou - 2023 Marathon des Sables

Aziz Yachou takes second on the 2023 Marathon des Sables. Photograph: iRunFar/Jon Bromley

Within the third stage of round 34k, Mohamed asserted his dominance, successful the stage in 2:30 to Rachid and Yachou’s 2:33, and increasing his total result in three minutes. Blanchard continued to carry his personal in fourth place.

The lads’s podium race for Stage 4 was so tight, particularly on condition that it was the one lengthy stage within the week in racing, this 12 months clocked at 90k. Mohamed once more crossed the road first, in 8:14:39. Yachou completed the stage in second place, simply six seconds behind the lead, and Rachid arrived in third, solely 19 seconds behind the winner. This tight race stored Mohamed within the lead within the total classification, Rachid in second, and Yachou in third, however with an expansion of just a few minutes.

Controversy ensued following this fourth stage, when Rachid was issued a three-hour time penalty for receiving outdoors help and withdrew from the race, which we’ve got extra on in a separate information piece. After Rachid withdrew from the race, Yachou moved as much as second place within the total classification. Blanchard, who was steadily operating his personal race behind the leaders, now discovered himself in podium place.

On the marathon-distance Stage 5, the final aggressive stage, Mohamed continued his present of energy to complete in 3:18, 5 minutes away from Yachou in second. In a complete time of 19:19:54 for the 5 aggressive phases, Mohamed El Morabity was topped the 2023 Marathon des Sables males’s champion.

A battle ensued behind, with Vasilii Korytkin finally beating Blanchard to the road, to take third place in Stage 5. Nevertheless, Blanchard held on to 3rd place total in a time of 21:21:27.

Mathieu Blanchard - 2023 Marathon des Sables

Mathieu Blanchard celebrates taking third on the 2023 Marathon des Sables. Photograph: iRunFar/Jon Bromley

2023 Marathon des Sables Males’s Outcomes

  1. Mohamed El Morabity (Morocco) — 19:19:54
  2. Aziz Yachou (Morocco) — 19:29:09
  3. Mathieu Blanchard (France) — 21:21:27
  4. Vasilii Korytkin (Russia) — 22:36:26
  5. Il Yass Zouhry (France) — 23:08:06

Full outcomes.

2023 Marathon des Sables Girls’s Race

The quick first stage was dominated as anticipated by 2019 winner Ragna Debats, who completed in 3:26, virtually 10 minutes away from Maryline Nakache in second. The highest native was Aziza El Amrany of Morocco, who adopted in third in 3:53. Whereas this was Nakache’s first look at this race, El Amrany was returning following a 3rd place on the 2022 version.

The extra mountainous terrain on Stage 2 performed to Debats’s strengths, and she or he romped dwelling in 3:19 to Nakache’s 3:36, thus extending her total result in round 28 minutes. El Amrany continued to run regular in third place.

Into the third stage, Debats completed 11 minutes forward of Nakache, for the stage win. However Debats’s end time and place doesn’t reveal the total story, that she lagged for a interval throughout Stage 3, was handed and misplaced the lead, earlier than regaining it to win the stage. As we might quickly see, this was a harbinger of issues to return for Debats. El Armany once more completed the stage in third, however this time solely a minute again from Nakache and showing very comfy.

Aziza El Amrany - 2023 Marathon des Sables

Aziza El Amrany, ending second on the 2023 Marathon des Sables, is welcomed to the end line by race director Patrick Bauer. Photograph: iRunFar/Jon Bromley

As all of us now know, all the pieces modified within the fourth day — the infamous lengthy stage, which was 90k for 2023. Debats led at first, however then fell again a number of hours after the beginning, reportedly struggling digestive points. Admirably, though not in rivalry for a podium spot, she powered on to complete the stage in 21:34, 9 hours and 49 minutes again of the lead. El Amrany, who gave the impression to be getting stronger because the week went on, received the stage in 11:44. Nakache once more took second, this time trailing a distinct chief, and moved into pole place within the race total, nonetheless virtually 33 minutes forward of El Armany within the total classification.

For Stage 5, the race’s ultimate aggressive stage, Nakache sailed easily to the stage victory, ending the day’s marathon distance in 4:18. This sealed Maryline Nakache’s victory on the 2023 Marathon des Sables with a complete time of 27:02:17.

On this ultimate day, Tomomi Bitoh, of Japan, was throughout the road in second in 4:33, and El Amrany crossed just some minutes later in 4:36 in third place. El Amrany had a major lead in second place, over Bitoh in third within the total classification, so a quick end was not wanted. Following up on her third place final 12 months, Aziza El Amrany improves to take second within the 2023 Marathon des Sables girls’s race in 27:53:37, and Tomomi Bitoh took third in 29:39:51.

Early chief Debats completed in eighth place within the total classification for the ladies.

Tomomi Bitoh - 2023 Marathon des Sables

Tomomi Bitoh wanting very glad on her solution to ending third on the 2023 Marathon des Sables. Photograph: iRunFar/Jon Bromley

2023 Marathon des Sables Girls’s Race

  1. Maryline Nakache (France) — 27:02:17
  2. Aziza El Amrany (Morocco) — 27:53:37
  3. Tomomi Bitoh (Japan) — 29:39:51
  4. Corina Sommer (Switzerland) — 31:35:13
  5. Elise Delannoy (France) — 33:32:01

Full outcomes.



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