Oman Desert Marathon 2023 Stage 1

Mohamed El Morabity ©iancorless

The 4-stage, 165-km, 2023 Oman Desert Marathon started today with a challenging 47-km stage.

After a 3-year hiatus due to the Covid Pandemic, it was once again a pleasure to see runner’s travelling through the Oman Desert in self-sufficiency. The only items provided to participants is water and a place to sleep at the end of each day.

©iancorless

The atmosphere at the start was one of celebration with local vip’s present and many locals who would participate in the ‘free’ 10km, 5km and a 2km kids race.

©iancorless

The ODM Classic had the same start but quickly branched left and headed in the direction of the Oasis of Alwasil.

As expected, Rachid El Morabity dictated the pace for the men and Aziza El Amrany for the women.

Rachid El Morabity ©iancorless

The first day in a stage race is always a cautious one, nobody wants to go too hard and the race was close for much of the day.

Rachid was followed by his brother Mohamed and a strong contingent of Omani runner’s, in particular Saleh Alsaidi and his brother, Sami.

Sami Alsaidi ©iancorless

Aziza was followed by Corina and surprisingly, Aziza Raji, the pre-race favourite was further back.

Aziza El Amrany ©iancorless

Rachid and Mohamed played cat an mouse but in the last significant dune section, with just over 10-km’s to go, Mohamed opened a gap which he held to the line crossing in 3:53:31. Rachid surprisingly came in over 7-minutes later. The earlier hard pace set by Sami Alsaidi took it’s toll and it was Saleh who finished 3rd.

Aziza El Amrany ©iancorless

Aziza El Amrany looked very strong for the first two-thirds of the day but later looked to be suffering in the heat. She never lost her lead though and finished in 5:31:29. Despite Corina looking strong all day, Aziza Raji played the waiting game and pounced in the latter third of the day taking 2nd place in 5:37:53 to 5:45:57 for the Swiss.

Saleh Alsaidi ©iancorless
  • Mohamed El Morabity 3:53:31
  • Rachid El Morabity 4:01:51
  • Saleh Alsaidi 4:19:34
Corina Summer ©iancorless
  • Aziza El Amrany 5:31:29
  • Aziza Raji 5:37:53
  • Corina Summer (SUI) 5:45:57

#omandesertmarathon

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