8th Edition of Oman Desert Marathon

The 8th edition of the annual Oman Dessert Marathon (ODM), a four-day 165 km desert run, started on January 21st and ended on January 24th. Morocco’s Mohammed El Morabity came in first place in the male category of the 8th edition of the annual Oman Desert Marathon (ODM), with a total finishing time of 14:13:15, and Switzerland’s Corina Sommer took home the prize on the women’s side, with a total finishing time of 19:39:28.

Click for Video: Oman Desert Marathon Day 4

Morocco’s TGCC team, which consisted of international champions Mohammed and Rachid El Morabity, came in first in the Team category, and Oman’s Saleh Alsaidi was the first Omani with a finishing time of 15:31:30.

A ceremony was held on January 24th at the Jawharat Bidiyah Resort under the patronage of the Governor of North Al Sharqiyah, His Excellency Sheikh Ali bin Ahmed al Shamsi, to honor the runners, as well as the people who worked behind the scenes during the course of this race.

The 165 km desert run started on January 21st from Al Wasil Fort with 42 runners, and it ended in Jawharat al Bidiah Resort on January 24th with 37 runners, after five had quit during the race.

This year’s race also included a children’s 2 km run, a 5 km run, and 10 km, which were run on day one, and while the 165 km run is usually divided into six stages, run over the span of one week, but this year it was divided into four stages: 47 km distance on day one, 55 km on day two, 42 km night run on day three and 21 km on the fourth and final day.


Click for Video: Oman Desert Marathon Day 3

The race was sponsored by a host of entities including the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Ministry of Heritage and Tourism, Oman Athletic Association, Tanuf, Omantel, Oman LNG, Jawharat Bidiyah Resort, OTSO, A’saffa, Pocari Sweat, Mwasalat, Camelback, Lulu Hypermarket, Oman Air, Tactical Trading, and Al Forn Café.

In total, 18 Omani runners participated in this year’s edition, as well as 24 international runners from different parts of the world including Italy, Germany, Poland, the UK, Morocco, France, Spain, Belgium, Ukraine, and Switzerland.

This year’s edition included big names like nine-time Marathon des Sables winner Rachid El Morabity, who has won the Oman Desert Marathon six times.

A 67-year-old heart surgeon from Italy, called Alfonso Sciarratta, also took part in this year’s race, and he finished the 165 km run in 42:17:46.


Click for Video: Oman Desert Marathon Day 2

Cecile Bertin from France: “I ran in the Oman Desert Marathon five years ago and there were barely any Omani runners. Those who were there were not well prepared for this kind of race. This time, I was impressed with how the participation has grown and also with the quality of their runners. I see Oman as champions of desert running!”

David Sanchez from Spain: “Oman Desert Marathon was a new way of running for me. It is very different from the mountain running that I have years of experience in, and it was a fantastic way for me to run in a new trail environment.”

Albert Jorquera Mestres, from Spain: “This was my first stage race and my first desert race. It was also an opportunity to learn about a culture, experience new sensations and live in the desert, rather than just visiting as a tourist. I have suffered a lot but I had a great time.”

Female Winner Corina Sommers, from Switzerland: “The dunes were beautiful, however the nigh race was a bit scary. I was on my own for so long that it made me pick up my speed. This was both my first desert run and my first night run.”


Click for Video: Oman Desert Marathon Day 1

Text & Video Credits: Oman Desert Marathon
Photo Credits: Ian Corless

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