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Rachid winning Stage 2. Photo credit: Marathon des Sables.

Marathon Des Sables 2016 Stage 2

11-Apr-16

By Alice Morrison

Day two and the stories are beginning to trickle in from stage one. This from Richard Poole, “Well I always knew that day 1 was going to be hard, but I thought I was really going to lose it this time...It is hot and very windy this year so blowing sand is a real problem.”

Peter Kingston came into CP 1 yesterday in great shape, but then, “it turned pear shaped. We hit a gale, sand storm and dust storm. I walked most of the rest of the way. Running into the gale took all of my energy. I was spent. Some passed me – but not a huge number. I saw one of the female favourites lying on the side of the track, surrounded by medics.

Day one started with a big dune section which always takes it out of the field but day two by contrast was relatively hard and flat. This is a stage that would suit many of the runners very well.

41.3 km with an 11 hour cut off time, the stage was from Erg Znaigui to Oued Moungarf. Some small dunes but nothing like yesterday started the stage off and then there was a long run through the oueds –oued means valley. The runners passed through a couple of villages and then just after CP 3 there was a nice little jebel (hill) to go up. The slope was 15%, just enough to make it sting.

Nothing major after that until the end, but the extra kilometres from yesterday also made themselves felt.

For most people, day two is when the first blisters start to appear and the queues for Doc Trotters, the slightly savage but kindly foot doctors, start getting longer.

No surprises in the male elite field with another stage win for Rachid El Morabity, the hugely popular Moroccan reigning champion.

Don’t forget we are posting live with any news that we get on Twitter @runultra_uk, and on our Facebook page.

Good luck to all the runners!

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