19 Nov 5° Oman Desert Marathon: stage 2
They started as rockets on a super challenging terrain! Today’s stage consisted in 20 kilometers of soft sands, high dunes and small portions of desert with compact ground and camel grass. “ a continuous up and down, not easy, very hard” – explains the Omani Sami Al-Saidi – and if this stage is considered very hard by an Omani runner, we can trust his word!
Most competitors started at a fast pace, taking advantage of the shade and of the very mild morning temperature, planning to reduce a little bit the speed later on, as the temperature rises.
All runners are experiencing in a very good mood and are in good conditions, feeling astonished by the beauty of the sceneries.
Today’s stage represents the beginning of the journey across the desert, an epic run that will take the runners to the Arabian Sea. From the first meter of the course to the base camp, the runners crossed a portion of the desert with no roads or tracks, just following the flags and the signs placed by the organization.
Twenty support cars kept an eye on the runners, constantly, but from distance, ready to take action in case of need, but without interfering with the race and the sense of wildness that only the desert can inspire. Unfortunately, Hamood Mohammed Moosa drops the race, for minor injuries. He has been assisted by our medical team and now he feels fine and he is on his way back home.
The winner of the stage is Natalia Sedykh running for the Adidas Running Team Moscow followed by Erik Bergersen from Noway and by the Omani Hamdan Al-Khatri . The results of this stage have been deeply affected by some penalties that have been given to runners that did try to cut the course. “We take rules very seriously – explains Ahmed Al-Malki, the Race Director – and we want to assure a fair competition for all runners, safety, respect of fair play and of our environment are priorities for the Oman Desert Marathon organization”.