The 2023 Oman Desert Marathon today concluded with a 22km test concluding at the Jawaharat Bidiah Resort.
A flat day that had varied terrain, hard plateau, dunes, rocks and a backdrop of dunes, mountains and trees. It was a beautiful route.
The men’s race was really over before the day begun with Mohamed El Morabity holding a large lead over his brother Rachid.
In the early km’s Rachid was so relaxed he was almost at the back of the race, he did eventually start to chase but it was a casual affair.
From experience, I would say he was using the day as a test, allow his brother to take a lead and then in the latter km’s speed up and see how much he could close the gap.
And boy did Rachid speed up… With 10km’s to go, he turned the after-burners on and started to pick of runner’s ahead. He got 5th, 4th, 3rd and then the 2nd, Saleh Alsaidi.
With Saleh by his side, Rachid eased up allowing Saleh to finish 2nd and himself 3rd. Mohamed took a well-earned stage and overall victory.
For the women, the question was, good Corina take back 10-minutes from Aziza in 22km’s? Surely not?
The duo started together, both no doubt marking each other, however, this strategy would only play in to Aziza’s hands. With almost 5km covered, they were still together. A truce had been called?
No, before CP1, Corina went and started to sped up. Watching on, I was convinced that she had moved too late, it would require over 1-minute faster than Aziza over the final 10km!
Corina ran to the line, arms aloft, victory for the stage and then the stopwatches were started. With 5-minutes to go, Aziza was not in sight and the possibility of closing the final km in less time was not possible, however, we had to wait to be sure.
Aziza crossed almost 15-minutes later, Corina was the 2023 champion, what a run! No doubt Aziza has a story to tell and maybe she payed the price for two stunning fast days on stages 1 and 2.
Aziz Raji rounded out the podium with an excellent 3rd place.
Of course, every runner has a story. It has been a tough 4-days and 165km here in Oman, tears have been shed. But a medal and fellow travellers to enjoy the journey make it all worthwhile.
Now time for rest and recovery. A gala dinner at the Jawaharat Bidiah Resort and tomorrow, onward travel to Muscat and home destinations.
Oman has offered a great experience and excellent hospitality. What better way to explore and see a place than by running? It’s a full and immersive experience and now, race director Said and his team, will look ahead to planning 2024.
- Mohamed El Morabity 1:44:15
- Saleh Alsaidi 1:46:52
- Rachid El Morabity 1:47:01
- Corina Summer (SUI) 2:14:11
- Aziza El Amrany 2:30:58
- Aziza Raji 2:34:20
- Mohamed El Morabity 14:13:15
- Rachid El Morabity 14:41:23
- Saleh Alsaidi 15:31:30
- Corina Summer 19:39:28
- Aziza El Amrany 19:46:10
- Aziza Raji 20:28:07
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