Marathon des Sables 2018 first stage

By Alice Morrison

The 33rd Marathon des Sables kicked off on Sunday in the Sahara Desert in Morocco. The first stage was 30.6km long with a time limit of ten hours. The stage comprised both dunes and flat sections and it was noticeable that there was more greenery than in past years after the unusually high rainfall in the region.

Over 1000 runners lined up on the start ready for the 250km ahead over the next week. The sand had been blowing up in camp prior to the race but the weather cleared for the morning.

For new racers, the prospect of running up and over the dunes is always daunting and today’s stage provided plenty of opportunity with dunes starting at 8, 19.9 and 24km.

The El Morabity family stamped their authority on the competition from the start with Mohamed, the younger brother, taking the stage, followed directly by his brother Rachid, five times champion.

In the women’s race Natalia Sedykh came in first with Magdalena Boulet in second.

TOP 3 Men and Women

  1. Mohamed El Morabity   02:11:30
  2. Rachid El Morabity 02:11:42
  3. Abdelkader El Mouaziz 02:13:00
  1. Natalia Sedykh 02:38:47
  2. Magdalena Boulet 02:43:09
  3. Bouchra Eriksen 02:47:05

We’ll be bringing you daily updates on the racing on RunUltra throughout the week.

"Over 1000 runners lined up on the start ready for the 250km ahead over the next week"

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