STAGE 4: DAY 1
EL MAHARCH / JEBEL EL MRAÏER : 81,5 Km
At 8am. Hygrometry: 20%. Temperature: 23°C
At 11am. Hygrometry: 19%. Temperature: 29°C
Number of runners on the start line: 821. 3rd leg withdrawals: 13 (total : 33)
On the start line of the mythical long leg of the 27th Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES, between El Maharch and djebel el Mraïer, faces were tenser than usual, steps less assured. This 81.5km long stage is much dreaded by all, be they champions or anonymous (the first 50 male competitors and the 5 first women leaving later then the rest). Hardly 9km later, the 821 competitors still in the race had to face the climb of djebel Oftal. At the top, they were rewarded with the most stunning view over wadi Rheris, the next obstacle. A moment to be relished before the climb down with a slope factor of nearly 20% (ropes have been added for the runners’ safety), towards the valley and a river crossing, yet another effort before about 20km of dunes. Whilst the best, led by Moroccan competitor Rachid El Morabity, will make it to the finish line in hardly 7 hours, some will be spending over 30 hours out on the track.