Stage 2 of the 2023 Oman Desert Marathon was a 55-km soft-sand and dune festival in intense heat.
With an 06:30 start, the early hours had a chill as the participants ran a relatively flat first 25km to the second aid station.
From here, the big dunes waited and what a magnificent sight they are. Stretching far and wide, they are a relentless rollercoaster of torture for the participants.
Crossing the first set of dunes could take less than 15-minutes for the top-runners, but for many, it was over an hour of exhaustion.
On the other side, a relatively flat and straight run, before another climb, a short section of dunes at CP3 at 35km.
Now the march to the line through relentless soft-sand and only CP4 at 45km offering some rest before the line.
Rachid and Mohamed, not surprisingly, dictated the pace from the start, often running side-by-side and chatting. They are true masters of this terrain and they make it look ridiculously easy.
Aziza El Amrany once again set the pace for the women and like the El Morabity brothers, she looks at ease and at home on this terrain.
As almost a repeat from stage 1, the Omani men chased hard and eventually the Alsaidi brothers would head the chase to the Moroccan duo.
For the women, Corina and Aziza spent much of the day together chasing Amrany.
In many resects, the writing was on the wall and it was once again Mohamed who beat Rachid to the line, this time, just by seconds. For the Alsadai brothers, Saleh finished 3rd and secured his 3rd overall on GC.
Aziza was too strong for the chasing duo and took another victory. This time, Corina broke away from Raji and managed to claw back over 4-minutes for the GC.
- Mohamed El Morabity 5:11:57
- Rachid El Morabity 5:12:26
- Saleh Alsaidi 5:43:42
- Aziza El Amrany 7:07:35
- Corina Summer (SUI) 7:18:10
- Aziza Raji 7:22:38
Instagram – @iancorlessphotography
Twitter – @talkultra
Web – www.iancorless.com
Image sales –www.iancorless.photoshelter.com