Thursday, April 12, 2012


A blow for Rachid El Morabity

Last year’s winner and so far leader of the race after 3 legs of the 27th Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES, Rachid El Morabity  was forced to withdraw  due to a medical problem.  The incident happened about 1km before the finish line of the long leg between El Maharch and djebel El Mraïer (81.5km). The night had only just fallen when the 30 year old Moroccan runner felt an extremely violent pain in his left thigh. He sent off his emergency flares, and he was quickly taken care of. 
 He was 
given painkillers before being taken back to the bivouac clinic of the MARATHON DES SABLES for further examination.

The first tests, revealed an important muscle lesion on the quadriceps, but no fracture. Rachid El Morabity will nonetheless have to undergo surgery in the next few days. He will be repatriated on Thursday.

The winner of today’s stage, Jordanian competitor  Salameh Al Aqra has taken the lead before Mohamad Ahansal, 21’38’’ behind, and Portuguese runner Carlos Alberto Gomes de Sa, 1h27’05’’ behind.


At 12am. Hygrometry: 26%. Temperature : 31.4°C
Runners still in the race (at 10am) : 800. Withdrawals in the 4th leg (at 10am) : 21 (total : 54)

An emotional cocktail

The long stage of the 27th Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES kept all its promises with an unexpected turn of events amongst the leaders, and many unforgettable images and emotions for all. 
The 27th Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES probably went through its most memorable stage on Wednesday and Thursday with the 4rth leg, 81.5 km long , between El Maharch and djebel El Mraïer. A dramatic change in the lead, for a start : last years’ winner and so far the absolute leader of this year’s edition, Rachid El Morabity was forced to withdraw due to a serious muscle lesion on the left quadriceps, only 1km from the finish line. Memorable too are the faces of all competitors crossing that line: tired faced, but imensely relieved to have come to the end of the mythical stage. All night for some, and even part of the next day for those who chose to sleep at one of the check points, they trodded towards their goal with their head torches on. Those light lights dancing into the nights amongts the dunes made for a striking image. And how moving to witness today the runners’ pride at having pushed back their own limit.


4th stage

1. Salameh Al Aqra (D148-JOR), 81,5km in 7h13’
2. Mohamad Ahansal (D8-MAR), 17’25’’ behind
3. Wataru Iino (D761-JAP), 32’41’’ behind
4. Christophe Le Saux (D113-FRA), 38’54’’ behind

General ranking

1. Salameh Al Aqra (D148-JOR), 15h29’45’’
2. Mohamad Ahansal (D8-MAR), 21’38’’ behind
3. Carlos Alberto Gomes de Sa (D890-POR), 1h27’05’’ behind


4th stage

1. Laurence Klein (D322-FRA), 9h32’40’’ (19th scratch)
2. Karine Baillet (D130-FRA), 20’49’’ behind
3. Meryem Khali (D5-MAR), 51’57’’ behind

General ranking

1. Laurence Klein (D322-FRA), 20h02’19’’
2. Karine Baillet (D130-FRA), 1h36’43 behind
3. Meryem Khali (D5-MAR), 1h55’35’’ behind

More details at the Marathon website


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