18 Nov 5° Oman Desert Marathon: stage 1
First 25 kilometers of the 5th Oman Desert Marathon. The race started at 8.11 Am, just after the celebrations for the Oman National Day and the local authorities welcome. This stage was supposed to be one of the fastest and easiest of the race: a ring around the town of Albashaier Adam with alternation of compact sand and rocky trails. This stage is representing an innovation in the course design of Oman Desert Marathon, specifically created to dive to the runners to have the opportunity to better adapt to the desert’s weather. A ground where the challenge is mainly on speed, more than on the ability to face the dunes and the soft sand.
This stage does not represent the race standard: the rest of the course will be mostly on soft sands and far form inhabited areas. Even if the first day of race can be considered a “soft start” most of the runners found it very challenging.
The race was dominated by Mohammed Almorabity from Morocco, followed by the Omani Sami Al-Saidi and by the Jordanian runner Salama Alaqra, fourth position for the Ukrainian runner Evgenii Glyva. First woman Natalia Sedykh from Russia.
As result, in the ranking the first place of the individual race goes to Evgenii Glyva, followed by Natalia Sedykh and Bergersen Erik. First place for the team ranking to Mohammed Almorabity and Salama Alaqra with the “ARABIC TEAM”.
The course was characterized by an area with many old and dry trees, that have been modeled by the years and the wind like wooden sculptures. Running on this trail is like assisting to an exhibition of abstract art. This show of nature helped the runners to face the first day of desert: the most challenging, in terms of backpack weight, as it contains the food for the whole week and in terms of adaptation to the new climate. The warmest welcome on the finish line was given in the coldest way possible: with a chilled Herb Alcoholic beer, this unexpected surprise was extremely appreciated by the runners.
After the refreshing drink on the finish line the runners have been transferred to the first basecamp. From this point, they will run on the untouched sands in the wildness of the Omani desert.