Last Updated on June 5, 2023

Mohamed El Morabity of Morocco has won the 37th edition of the Marathon des Sables, known as the world’s toughest desert ultra-trail in self-sufficiency, in the Sahara Desert. Running under 40.5 ° C, El Morabity beat his compatriot Aziz Yachou in the last stage, securing his first desert ultra-trail victory in self-sufficiency.

Mohamed El Morabity is the winner of the Marathon des Sables 2023
Mohamed El Morabity celebrates his victory after Marathon des Sables 2023. Source: Marathon des Sables

Mohamed El Morabity’s ninth victory

In the men’s race, it was a speedy start to the week, with the first stage being about 36 kilometers long, featuring a climb to the summit of the infamous Jebel El Otfal.

Rachid El Morabity, the nine-time champion, took the lead and finished the stage in a time of 2:46. His younger brother, Mohamed El Morabity, and fellow Moroccan, Aziz Yachou, followed just a minute back in 2:47.

The second stage was a bit shorter at just under 32k, but it moved into more technical terrain with increased elevation change.

Rachid again took off in front, but in the latter part of the stage and on a smooth run into the finish, he was overtaken by his brother Mohamed, who won the stage in a time of 2:29, less than a minute ahead of Rachid in second and Yachou in third.

Mohamed El Morabity continued his impressive form in the third and fourth stages, finishing first in both stages. However, the drama unfolded in the fourth stage, where Rachid received a three-hour penalty for external assistance, leading to his withdrawal from the race.

Mohamed El Morabity continued his dominance in the final stage, winning it in a time of 2:54, beating his compatriot Aziz Yachou to secure his first desert ultra-trail victory in self-sufficiency. Despite his win, Mohamed expressed sadness for his brother’s withdrawal from the race.

2023 Marathon des Sables Men’s Results

  1. Mohamed El Morabity (Morocco) — 19:19:54
  2. Aziz Yachou (Morocco) — 19:29:09
  3. Mathieu Blanchard (France) — 21:21:27
  4. Vasilii Korytkin (Russia) — 22:36:26
  5. Il Yass Zouhry (France) — 23:08:06

Marathon des sables: Morocco’s El Morabity wins 2023 Sahara Marathon. africanews.

Maryline Nakache wins women’s race

In the women’s race, 2019 champion Ragna Debats was the favorite to win, but she suffered from digestive issues during the long Stage 4, falling back out of contention for the win.

This opened the door for France’s Maryline Nakache, who took advantage of the opportunity to win her first Marathon des Sables title.

Maryline Nakache finished second in each of the first four stages before ultimately moving into the overall women’s lead during Stage 4. She ran a steady and consistent race from the start, winning the title in her debut Marathon des Sables.

2023 Marathon des Sables Women’s Results

  1. Maryline Nakache (France) — 27:02:17
  2. Aziza El Amrany (Morocco) — 27:53:37
  3. Tomomi Bitoh (Japan) — 29:39:51
  4. Corina Sommer (Switzerland) — 31:35:13
  5. Elise Delannoy (France) — 33:32:01

Registrations for the Marathon des Sables 2024 edition will open in December or January.

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