Morocco’s Rachid el Morabity retains desert marathon title

Moroccan Rachid el Morabity retained his Marathon des Sables title on home soil on Friday, with Elisabet Barnes of Sweden winning the women’s crown.  Having completed the longest and most gruelling stretch of the desert marathon on Thursday, one more marathon-length stage lay in front of the remaining competitors on Friday, a 42.2 kilometre route in the Moroccan desert.  The race started on a light note with competitors singing together, but soon enough, El Morabity went on to show his dominance once again.  With four wins from four stages coming into Friday’s conclusion, the Moroccan more or less already had the overall title in the bag.  Rather than take it easy, he went on to clinch victory in the stage to make it five out of five in a one-two-three finish for Morocco