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EL Morabity steals a march

The days go by and each is different from the last in the SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES. For the third day in a row, Morrocan and reigning champion Rachid El Morabity really set the pace ahead of teammate Abdelkader El Mouaziz and Jordanian Salameh Al Aqra, 2nd and 3rd a little less than three and five minutes later. It’s enough to cause him to break into a little song in the tent a few minutes later, whilst preparing his meal. “It’s a Berber song, which rids me of stress”, he smiles, happy to continue opening up a lead ahead of his direct rivals. In this rather hilly leg, it isn’t until the fifth place that we start to see a change in the ranking with the arrival of Spaniard Chema Martinez. “I’ve started off well. I was even leading during the first second or third kilometres, which I was very happy about. However, I don’t run across the sand as well as the Moroccans and they overtook me.” Though he tried hard to stay in contact for part of the course, the Spaniard, European No.2 in the marathon in 2010, finally began to slip back until he was running on his own from the 20th kilometre. Among the female contingent, Swede Elisabet Barnes, has won yet another leg, but it was French runner, Laurence Klein, that we now find in 2nd position ahead of American Liza Howard, 3rd. “I set off at my own pace, in 4th position, and by keeping that pace I managed to pick off the Russian and the American. I’m happy to finish second and not be too shattered to take on tomorrow’s long leg, which will doubtless be decisive.

3rd LEG

MEN

etape3-campagnie-mds2015-copyright-12 bassedef1. Rachid El Morabity (MAR), 2h53’37
2. Abdelkader El Mouaziz (MAR), 2h56’08
3. Al Aqra (JOR), 2h57’55
4. El Akad (MAR), 2h58’34
5. Chema Martinez (ESP), 3h02’30
6. Danny Kendall (GBR), 3h06’57

8. Dave Mackey (USA), 3h13’40

WOMEN

1. Elisabet Barnes (SUE), 3h48’54
2. Laurence Klein (FRA), 3h56’12
3. Liza Howard (USA), 4h02’36

OVERALL RANKING

MEN

1. Rachid El Morabity (MAR), 8h18’51
2. Abdelkader El Mouaziz (MAR), 8h24’32
3. Al Aqra (JOR), 8h31’00

WOMEN

1. Elisabet Barnes (SUE), 11h01’18
2. Liza Howard (USA), 11h23’14
3. Laurence Klein (FRA), 11h35’07