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Marathon des Sables 2024 stage two: Calm ahead of the ‘storm’ on Tuesday

Jonathan Turner
News Director
Updated on
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There was a sense of deja vu on Monday’s second stage of the 38th edition of the Marathon des Sables ‘legendary’ race.

In the women’s event, Aziza El Amrany was again clear of the rest while in the men’s it was no surprise to see the El Morabity brothers, along with Aziz Yachou, fill the first three places as Morocco dominated once again.

That trio actually crossed the line together, arriving at the finish hand in hand.

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Women’s race – El Amrany goes further clear

After a very fast first stage, the speed decreased a little on Monday. That was likely due to the combination of a longer (40.8km) and rougher route with more sand and elevation, and the upcoming long stage on Tuesday which is more than double the distance.

The racing conditions were favourable at the 7am start, with a temperature of 17ยฐC.

And, like Sunday, El Amrany imposed herself early on as she looks to continue the sequence which saw her finish third in 2022 and runner-up last year.

France’s Laurence Klein, a three-time winner in 2007, 2011 and 2012, briefly turned back the clock as she tried to lead the race at the start, but Aziza quickly took over in front again, and crossed the finish line in four hours, eight minutes and 12 seconds, 20 minutes before her fellow Moroccan and namesake Aziza Raji, the 2021 winner.

And just like the first stage Adriana Moser (NED) rounded out the podium.

That means the overall standings remain the same, though El Amrany has stretched her advantage to over 46 minutes.

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Men’s race – Calm before the storm

Rachid El Morabity, who is seeking a record-equalling 10th win, and his brother Mohamed, who won last year, ran together with Yachou and even finished the stage hand-in-hand in an all-Moroccan podium.

The first three in the men's race head towards the finish hand in hand on stage two of the Marathon des Sables photo credit Marathon des Sables
The first three in the men’s race head towards the finish hand in hand on stage two [Photo credit: Marathon des Sables]

Mohamed, who leads his brother and Yachou by 26 seconds and 29 seconds respectively in the overall standings, explained: โ€œToday I ran really calmly, I am preparing for the long stage – tomorrow the strongest will win the stage.โ€œ

That was echoed by Rachid, who added: โ€œThe three of us decided to run together. We saved the energy for tomorrow. Tomorrow everyone has their own strategy, I think that 80% of the marathon will be decided tomorrow. Every year I wait for the long stage to make the difference.”

And while the trio crossed the line together ahead of tomorrow’s big battle, they still widened the gap between themselves and the rest. There’s already 34 minutes between Aziz in third and his brother Hamid Yachou in fourth.

Jonathan Turner
Written by
Jonathan Turner
Jonathan Turner is News Director for both TRI247 and RUN247, and is accustomed to big-name interviews, breaking news stories and providing unrivalled coverage for endurance sports.ย ย 

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