Monday, April 16, 2012

Morocco / marathon des sables - a winner after seven attempts

The Jordanian, Salameh Al Aqra won the « marathon des sables for the first time after seven years of participation while in the women’s category, the French, Laurence Klein, grabbed her third title of the marathon which started April 6th and ended April 14.

Salameh Al Aqra crossed the finished line of the 27th edition of the « marathon des sables » with a time of 19:59:21 while Laurence Klein finished in 26:36:25.

Salameh after 2009 was absent in the race for two years due to an injury. In 2007 and 2008 he had occupied the third position while in 2008 he was second.

Laurence Klein had already won the race twice in 2007 and 2011.



Number of runners on the start line: 797. Withdrawals during the 3rd stage : 3 (total withdrawals: 54)
A grand finale
Jordanian runner Salameh Al Aqra and French athlete Laurence Klein are the official winners of the 2012 edition of the Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES. But each and every competitor, at their own level, have won a personal victory by crossing the finish line.
What a show! Competitors on the start line of the 6th and last leg of the 27th Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES, between Merdani and Merzouga, will never forget the last few hours of the last episode of their South Saharian adventure. For the final chapter of their saga, a grand setting: the Merzouga dunes, the highest in Morocco. On the finish line, where Patrick Bauer, the race director, puts the much longed for finishers’medal around the runners’ necks, there are of course many tears and cries. You can see the tiredness on the runners’ faces after 6 days of effort, but it’s their relief and joy that’s most striking. They’ll go away with many mental images of that week long adventure, in sometimes difficult conditions (sand storms, hail…), and in varied but always stunning landscapes.

6th leg
1. Aziz El Akad (D9-MAR), 15km in 1h13’30’’
2. Mohamad Ahansal (D8-MAR), 36’’ behind
3. Salameh Al Aqra (D148-JOR), 3’35’’ behind
Final general ranking
1. Salameh Al Aqra (D148-JOR), 19h59’21’’
2. Mohamad Ahansal (D8-MAR), 21’02’’ behind
3. Aziz El Akad (D9-MAR), 1h38’56’’ behind

6th étape
1. Meryem Khali (D5-MAR), 1h31’37’’
2. Laurence Klein (D322-FRA), 4’48’’ behind
3. Meghan Hicks (D973-USA), 12’58’’ behind
Final general ranking
1. Laurence Klein (D322-FRA), 26h15’40’’
2. Meryem Khali (D5-MAR), 1’19’’38 behind
3. Karine Baillet (D-FRA), 1h31’07’’ behind


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