For the 2023 Marathon des Sables, victory is going to Mohamed El Morabity of Morocco and Maryline Nakache of France.
Going down within the Sahara Desolate tract in Morocco, the 2023 version of the 250-kilometer (150 miles), seven-day, five-stage race kicked off on Sunday, April 23, with the overall aggressive degree ultimate on Friday, April 28.
Every 12 months, greater than 1,000 runners compete within the match’s 5 aggressive phases, sleep at night time in campsites, and function with meals and tool self-sufficiency. The race group supplies a colour tent within the camp, quite a lot of water, and clinical and emergency help, when wanted.
Given it takes position within the Sahara Desolate tract, the development is understood for its warmth, in addition to its sandy and rocky terrain. Authentic climate assets pointed to temperatures tipping over the 100 levels Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) mark throughout a number of days of this 12 months’s match, and thermometers at the flooring pitched up above 115 levels Fahrenheit (46 Celsius).
There have been giant upsets within the latter phases of each the boys’s and ladies’s races, with nine-time champion Rachid El Morabity of Morocco taking flight after receiving a penalty for an infringement following the fourth degree, whilst in moment position within the total classification.
At the girls’s facet, 2019 champion, race chief for the primary 3 phases, and Dutch runner and company favourite Ragna Debats struggled with digestive problems throughout the lengthy Degree 4, and fell again out of competition for the win.
Even though Mohamed El Morabity’s victory could be moderately tainted by means of the debate surrounding his older brother’s withdrawal, Mohamed ran a stormer of a race, had already completed first in 3 of the 4 phases, and used to be within the lead total on the time of the incident. Whilst he’s completed in moment position a outstanding 5 instances at this match – every time in the back of his brother — that is his first victory of the Marathon des Sables.
Ladies’s champion Maryline Nakache had additionally run a gradual and constant race from the beginning, completing moment in every of the primary 4 phases sooner than in the end shifting into the total girls’s lead throughout Degree 4. This used to be her debut Marathon des Sables.
2023 Marathon des Sables Males’s Race
It used to be a fast begin to the week, with the primary degree being about 36 kilometers lengthy, that includes a climb to the summit of this match’s notorious Jebel El Otfal. Stormy and windy stipulations within the afternoon made issues tough for the latter runners, however the entrance finish of the race used to be in large part unaffected by means of the hurricane.
Degree 1 went alongside predicted traces, with Rachid El Morabity taking the lead and completing the degree in a time of two:46. His more youthful brother, Mohamed El Morabity, and fellow Moroccan, Aziz Yachou, adopted only a minute again in 2:47. The 2022 UTMB second-place guy, Mathieu Blanchard, of France, used to be the primary out of the country runner to complete the degree, in fourth position in a time of two:51.
Degree 2 used to be slightly shorter at slightly below 32k, but it surely moved into extra technical terrain with greater elevation exchange. Rachid once more took off in entrance, however within the latter a part of the degree and on a clean run into the end, he used to be overtaken by means of his brother Mohamed, who gained the degree in a time of two:29, not up to a minute forward of Rachid in moment and Yachou in 3rd. Rachid nonetheless held the total lead by means of a slender margin on the finish of the degree, adopted by means of Mohamed and Yachou. Blanchard, who had completed 5th in the second one degree in the back of Russia’s Vasilii Korytkin, held directly to fourth position total.
Within the 3rd degree of round 34k, Mohamed asserted his dominance, profitable the degree in 2:30 to Rachid and Yachou’s 2:33, and lengthening his total result in 3 mins. Blanchard persevered to carry his personal in fourth position.
The boys’s podium race for Degree 4 used to be so tight, particularly for the reason that it used to be the only lengthy degree within the week in racing, this 12 months clocked at 90k. Mohamed once more crossed the road first, in 8:14:39. Yachou completed the degree in moment position, simply six seconds in the back of the lead, and Rachid arrived in 3rd, handiest 19 seconds in the back of the winner. This tight race saved Mohamed within the lead within the total classification, Rachid in moment, and Yachou in 3rd, however with a range of only some mins.
Controversy ensued following this fourth degree, when Rachid used to be issued a three-hour time penalty for receiving outdoor help and withdrew from the race, which now we have extra on in a separate information piece. After Rachid withdrew from the race, Yachou moved as much as moment position within the total classification. Blanchard, who used to be ceaselessly operating his personal race in the back of the leaders, now discovered himself in podium place.
At the marathon-distance Degree 5, the remaining aggressive degree, Mohamed persevered his display of power to complete in 3:18, 5 mins transparent of Yachou in moment. In a complete time of nineteen:19:54 for the 5 aggressive phases, Mohamed El Morabity used to be topped the 2023 Marathon des Sables males’s champion.
A combat ensued in the back of, with Vasilii Korytkin ultimately beating Blanchard to the road, to take 3rd position in Degree 5. On the other hand, Blanchard held on to 3rd position total in a time of 21:21:27.
2023 Marathon des Sables Males’s Effects
- Mohamed El Morabity (Morocco) — 19:19:54
- Aziz Yachou (Morocco) — 19:29:09
- Mathieu Blanchard (France) — 21:21:27
- Vasilii Korytkin (Russia) — 22:36:26
- Il Yass Zouhry (France) — 23:08:06
2023 Marathon des Sables Ladies’s Race
The short first degree used to be ruled as anticipated by means of 2019 winner Ragna Debats, who completed in 3:26, nearly 10 mins transparent of Maryline Nakache in moment. The highest native used to be Aziza El Amrany of Morocco, who adopted in 3rd in 3:53. Whilst this used to be Nakache’s first look at this race, El Amrany used to be returning following a 3rd position on the 2022 version.
The extra mountainous terrain on Degree 2 performed to Debats’s strengths, and she or he romped house in 3:19 to Nakache’s 3:36, thus extending her total result in round 28 mins. El Amrany persevered to run stable in 3rd place.
Into the 3rd degree, Debats completed 11 mins forward of Nakache, for the degree win. However Debats’s end time and position doesn’t disclose the overall tale, that she lagged for a length throughout Degree 3, used to be handed and misplaced the lead, sooner than regaining it to win the degree. As we’d quickly see, this used to be a harbinger of issues to come back for Debats. El Armany once more completed the degree in 3rd, however this time just a minute again from Nakache and showing very relaxed.
As all of us now know, the whole thing modified within the fourth day — the infamous lengthy degree, which used to be 90k for 2023. Debats led in the beginning, however then fell again a couple of hours after the beginning, reportedly struggling digestive problems. Admirably, despite the fact that now not in competition for a podium spot, she powered on to complete the degree in 21:34, 9 hours and 49 mins again of the lead. El Amrany, who looked to be getting more potent because the week went on, gained the degree in 11:44. Nakache once more took moment, this time trailing a distinct chief, and moved into pole place within the race total, nonetheless nearly 33 mins forward of El Armany within the total classification.
For Degree 5, the race’s ultimate aggressive degree, Nakache sailed easily to the degree victory, completing the day’s marathon distance in 4:18. This sealed Maryline Nakache’s victory on the 2023 Marathon des Sables with a complete time of 27:02:17.
In this ultimate day, Tomomi Bitoh, of Japan, used to be around the line in moment in 4:33, and El Amrany crossed only some mins later in 4:36 in 3rd position. El Amrany had a vital lead in moment position, over Bitoh in 3rd within the total classification, so a quick end used to be now not wanted. Following up on her 3rd position remaining 12 months, Aziza El Amrany improves to take moment within the 2023 Marathon des Sables girls’s race in 27:53:37, and Tomomi Bitoh took 3rd in 29:39:51.
Early chief Debats completed in 8th position within the total classification for the ladies.
2023 Marathon des Sables Ladies’s Race
- Maryline Nakache (France) — 27:02:17
- Aziza El Amrany (Morocco) — 27:53:37
- Tomomi Bitoh (Japan) — 29:39:51
- Corina Sommer (Switzerland) — 31:35:13
- Elise Delannoy (France) — 33:32:01