Oman Desert Marathon 2023 Stage 3

Mohamed El Morabity ©iancorless

Stage 3 of the Oman Desert Marathon followed a long stage 2 of 55-km. For perspective, Mohamed won the stage in 5-hours 11-minutes, while the last runner came in close to the midnight cut-off. When you consider the 06:30am start, that is a long day on the feet.

Corina Sommer recovering before stage 3©iancorless

Morning of stage 3 was rest in camp and the scheduled 3 start times would commence at midday, followed by 2pm and the final wave of top-12 runner’s departing at 4pm. Ahead 42km with all runner’s spending time in some darkness before arriving at the finish.

With a flat section to start the day, a small and beautiful dune section, and then a relatively flat run in to the line, on paper, stage 3 was by ODM standards an easy one.

©iancorless

If Rachid had agreed with his brother that victory was Mohamed’s to take, Rachid did not run the last stage without a fight. Actually, the contrary, he seemed to be pushing hard and looking for the advantage.

Mohamed followed at all times looked relax.

©iancorless

The duo exchanged the lead at multiple times and it was during darkness that Mohamed took the lead and finished strongly ahead of his brother 3:23 to 3:40 elapsed respectively, the 2023 Oman Desert Marathon is now almost certainly his!

Behind Saleh Alsaidi once again ran a very strong stage, he never came close to the Moroccan’s but his podium place is secure.

Corina and Aziza head-to-head ©iancorless

If Aziza El Amrany  thought stage 3 would be an easy one, she would need to think again… Corina Sommer had the bit between her teeth and the duo pushed a hard pace. Just before CP1 Aziza got a gap, was the writing on the wall?

©iancorless

No! Corina fought back, caught and passed her and then opened up her own lead. As darkness came, the lead extended and it was a nail-biter to the line, Corina crossing in 4:21:09.

The clock ticked, Aziza was losing her huge lead, eventually she came and crossed in 4:36:06. Now Corina is just 10-minutes behind with one stage to go… Is it possible to get back that time in ‘just’ 22km?

Aziza Raji was off-the-pace today and finished 3rd.

Welcome to Oman ©iancorless
  • Mohamed El Morabity 3:23:30
  • Rachid El Morabity 3:40:03
  • Saleh Alsaidi 3:41:21
And into the darkness they went… ©iancorless
  • Corina Sommer (SUI) 4:21:09
  • Aziza El Amrany 4:36:06
  • Aziza Raji 4:53:15

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Oman Desert Marathon 2023 Stage 2

Mohamed El Morabity ©iancorless

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.

The brothers El Morabity ©iancorless
©iancorless

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.

Big dunes ©iancorless

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.

©iancorless

On the other side, a relatively flat and straight run, before another climb, a short section of dunes at CP3 at 35km.

©iancorless

Now the march to the line through relentless soft-sand and only CP4 at 45km offering some rest before the line.

Albert Jorquera ©iancorless

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.

©iancorless

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.

Aziza El Amrany ©iancorless

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.

Dune chasers ©iancorless

For the women, Corina and Aziza spent much of the day together chasing Amrany.

©iancorless

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
Sunrise ©iancorless
  • Aziza El Amrany 7:07:35
  • Corina Summer (SUI) 7:18:10
  • Aziza Raji 7:22:38

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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

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