20 Nov 5° Oman Desert Marathon: stage 3
Today the runners woke up at 6.00 after a quite cold night. The minimum temperature was tonight 11° Celsius: significantly below the average of this season, that is about 15 C°.
A chilly start for a 27 kilometers run that took the 100 runners of the 5° Oman Desert Marathon across a section of a desert with two big climbs to the top of big dunes and a significant portion of compact sand. The runners crossed two valleys and started heading south-east, towards the Arabic Sea. This section of the race is the one with the highest changes in temperatures, coldest at night and extremely warm, but dry, during the day.
The last portion of the race was on an abandoned road, that took the competitors to the base camp, just next to the finish line on the top of a hill. A very fast finish for a challenging stage.
At about 9.45, after two hours of race, a strong wind added a new challenge for most of the runners: running in the desert facing clouds of dust and the sand in the air. The fastest runners were already resting in their tents when the wind started blowing, so their performance was not affected at all by this change of weather. The change of the conditions stated a longer and more difficult race for the rest of the group. The first runner of this stage was Mohammed Almorabity and the last one took Park Jae Hyun, from Korea, that took about 8 hours and 30 minutes to complete the course.