Rabat - Rachid El-Morabity has won his fifth Marathon des Sables, held in Morocco’s south.
Rabat – Rachid El-Morabity has won his fifth Marathon des Sables, held in Morocco’s south.
El-Morabity finished the gruelling desert race just seven seconds ahead of his brother Mohamed in the final 42.2-kilometre stage.
Mohamed clinched second place, keeping the top two spots in the family.
Third place was secured by Britain’s Thomas Evans.
On the women’s side, Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes took top honours, in spite of finishing second on Friday.
Second place went to France’s Nathalie Mauclair, who finished first in the final stage but was twenty minutes slower than Barnes overall.
Marathon des Sables was inaugurated in 1986 but the idea was born in 1984 by a brash 28-year-old man named Patrick Bauer.
Setting off with only a packsack and sheer grit and determination, he determined to make his way across the Sahara, completely alone. The 350-kilometre took twelve days. The rest, as they say, is history.
Since that first, 1986 race, the marathon has been dominated by Moroccans ever since. Most notable was Lahcen Ahansal who won the title a miraculous ten times. Nine of those occurred in a consecutive winning streak that last from 1999-2007.