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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
- Mohamed El Morabity 3:23:30
- Rachid El Morabity 3:40:03
- Saleh Alsaidi 3:41:21
- Corina Sommer (SUI) 4:21:09
- Aziza El Amrany 4:36:06
- Aziza Raji 4:53:15
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