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Photo credit: Marathon des Sables

Ragna and Rachid take the top spots at the Marathon Des Sables

15-Apr-19

Last updated: 15-Apr-19

By Dan Stinton

Since Cactus finished stage 3 of the Marathon Des Sables, he’s caused quite a stir on social media and had even managed to obtain his own tracker to allow his fans to keep an eye on his progress for the later stages of the race.

As well as the canine action, we’ve also been keeping an eye on the homo sapiens racers over at our forum.

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Photo credit: Marathon des Sables

Stage 4 was the long stage at 76.3km with a 31-hour cut-off time.  The men’s race was looking relatively close at this point, but Ragna Debats was still completely dominating the women’s race.  The results at the end of the stage were:

Stage 4 (76.3km)

MEN
1. Rachid El Morabity - 7:13:10
2. Mohamed El Morabity - 7:16:13
3. Antonio Alongi (Italy) - 7:22:07

WOMEN
1. Ragna Debats - 9:13:31
2. Aziza Raji - 9:37:16
3. Gemma Game - 9:39:52

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Photo credit: Marathon des Sables

It’s also worth noting that Cactus completed the long stage!  However, it was discovered that he’s a dog with two names.  He’s actually called Diggedy and his owner, a German hotelier in Merzouga, was coming to pick him up at the end of the race.

After four stages, Rachid and Mohamed were still close with a few minutes separating them overall and a battle for third place also emerging.

It was going to take something very unexpected for Ragna not to win and the top three women were nearly four hours ahead of the rest of the pack, so it looked likely the podium places were secured.
After the final competitive stage, Rachid had maintained the lead over his brother to win overall.  Unsurprisingly, Ragna strongly took the top spot by nearly three hours.

Stage 5 (42.2km)

MEN
1. Rachid El Morabity - 3:07:53
2. Hammou Ou Mohamed Moudouji - 3:08:45
3. Mohamed El Morabity - 3:10:36

WOMEN
1. Ragna Debats - 3:47:25
2. Aziza Raji - 4:23:08
3. Gemma Game - 4:34:59


Men - Overall

1. Rachid El Morabity - 18:31:24
2. Mohamed El Morabity - 18:39:48
3. Abdelaziz Baghazza - 19:21:20

Women - Overall

1. Ragna Debats - 22:33:36
2. Aziza Raji - 25:17:31
3. Gemma Game - 26:04:10

Cactus also finished the fifth stage and was looking incredibly proud with his medal!
All runners of course finished the charity stage the following day with a final triumphant 6.1km.  No doubt the Marathon des Sables will have inspired many adventurers to put it on their bucket lists.

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