The Moroccan Rachid El Morabity and the Spaniard Anna Comet won the 1st stage of the 36th Marathon des Sables (MDS) which linked Sunday Timgaline to Aguenoun N’Oumerhiout (province of Tinghir) over a distance of 30.3 km.
El Morabity won this 1st stage with a time of 2h 04min 16sec, followed by his compatriot Aziz Yachou, revelation of the previous edition with a 4th place overall, in 2h 04min 37sec. Rachid’s younger brother, Mohamed El Morabity came 3rd (2h 10min 16sec).
In a statement to the press, El Morabity said he was satisfied to have won this 1st stage which is still difficult, particularly with the weight of the backpack and the adaptation to the climate and the reliefs of the terrain, noting that thanks to the experience he has accumulated in this competition he managed to impose his rhythm from the start of the stage.
The competition was tough with Aziz Yachou, 2nd, adding that the most important thing is the management of the effort throughout the MDS which is only at its beginning, he added.
Among the ladies, Anna Comet (2h 52min 20sec) beat Frenchwoman Sylvaine Cussot (2h 56min 25sec), while Moroccan Aziza Raji, who is defending her title this year, came 3rd with a time of 2h 59min 41sec.
The Spaniard, in this regard, explained that during this stage, she followed the rhythm of the Moroccan Aziza Raji whom she managed to overtake at km 8, adding that she took this opportunity to dig gap with her and lower her running pace after passing the 2nd checkpoint.
It is important to manage your effort because there are still several more difficult stages of the Marathon des Sables, noting that today’s course was relatively affordable despite reliefs and difficulties, she said.
Note that the 2nd stage will link Aguenoun N’Oumerhiout to Rich Mbirika (38.5 km), while the 3rd stage will link Rich Mbirika to El Mahrach over a distance of 32.1 km.
A total of 952 runners took the start of this 36th edition of the Marathon des Sables which continues until April 4th.