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STAGE 1 – LEAD RUN: AT FULL SPEED

38th MARATHON DES SABLES LEGENDARY

Aziza EL AMRANY (MAR) was imperial on this first stage of the 38th MARATHON DES SABLES LEGENDARY; the EL MORABITY brothers (MAR) managed the stage to gauge their opponents. Mohamed, the youngest, wins in front of Rachid.

With 31.1 km rather rolling including two small djebels, a dune passage and a few sandy areas, this first stage of the 38TH MARATHON DES SABLES LEGENDARY promised to be fast. A wind blowing from behind on the first half of the course, and a rather cool temperature for the South Moroccan Sahara (18°C at 9 a.m.) further accelerated the movement. The times went crazy, for both women and men.

WOMEN’S LEAD RACE

Aziza EL AMRANY (D7-MAR) left no chance to her opponents of the day. She set off at a fast pace, a little over 14 km/h, not even trying to gauge the competition. The pace slowed down a little on the sandy sections and on the djebels, but she still finished in 2h45'54'', or an average of 11.2 km/h. “It was a little difficult in the middle of the course, but otherwise it went very well.“ This good management allowed her to finish 17th in the scratch ranking.

Her compatriot Aziza RAJI (D9-MAR), winner in 2021 and always in the Top 10 in 6 participations, had a more regular, but slower race. She is 26 minutes late. Adriana MOSER (D850-NLD), victorious at HMDS Morocco last October, is attempting the MDS LEGENDARY adventure for the first time. She completes the podium one minute behind Aziza RAJI.

Gemma GAME (D204-GBR) and Laurence KLEIN (D160-FRA) complete the Top 5. Laurence, victorious three times in the legendary desert event, performed a very good first stage, managing her pace without worrying about the others runners.

MEN’S LEAD RACE

Everyone was waiting to see how Rachid EL MORABITY (D3-MAR) would manage this first stage of the 38th MARATHON DES SABLES LEGENDARY. The answer came immediately after departure: full speed ahead. The 9-title holder set off at 18 km/h over the first very smooth kilometers, with the wind at his back. “I wanted to test the other competitors to see who is strong this year, and put the strategy in place for the other stages.“ Halfway through, reassured by the absence of the Europeans who were well behind, and the presence at his side of his brother Mohamed (D1-MAR), Rachid slowed down his pace. The two brothers were only followed by their compatriot and nevertheless opponent Aziz YACHOU (D10-MAR). And it was ultimately Mohamed who won in 2h11'09'', at an average of 14.2 km/h. Rachid cuts the line 30 seconds later, followed like his shadow by Aziz. Hamid YACHOU (D11-MAR), Aziz's brother, is relegated to 9 minutes, and Ahmed OUIKHALFEN (D2-MAR), teammate of Rachid and Mohamed, completes the Top 5.

First Frenchman and seventh in the ranking, Yohann STUCK (D851-FRA), crossed the finish line with a radiant smile, celebrated by a cheer from the medical team: “It was a nice stage, but it’s only the first one. I didn't even try to follow the Moroccans, they are really impressive.“

RANKING STEP 1

First 5 women*

RK

BIB

RUNNER

TEAM

NAT

TIME

1

7

Aziza EL AMRANY

 

MAR

2:45 :54

2

9

Aziza RAJI

SOFAC

MAR

3:11 :58

3

850

Adriana MOSER

 

NLD

3:12 :53

4

204

Gemma GAME

 

GBR

3:13 :46

5

160

Laurence KLEIN

 

FRA

3:23 :18

First 5 men*

RK

BIB

RUNNER

TEAM

NAT

TIME

1

1

Mohamed EL MORABITY

TGCC

MAR

2:11 :09

2

3

Rachid EL MORABITY

TGCC

MAR

2:11 :36

3

10

Aziz YACHOU

SOFAC

MAR

2:11 :38

4

11

Hamid YACHOU

SOFAC

MAR

2:20 :33

5

2

Ahmed OUIKHALFEN

TGCC

MAR

2:25 :46

*Provisional rankings

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