Mark Gillett

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Posts Tagged ‘Ultra Running

Trans Atlas Marathon Videos

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Stage 1

Faces of The Race

Its more than just the runners…

Mad In Marrakech

 

Written by markgillett

June 15, 2014 at 9:56 am

Trans Atlas Marathon Winners

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The Trans Atlas Marathon has been a truly beautiful experience from every perspective. The mix of the best Moroccan runners, some European runners, small Atlas villages, local people working the race and fantastic “tough race” conditions has culminated in a brilliant last stage. It set out from the village of Siti Fatma deep in the valley and took the following brutal profile.

6 etapa TAM 2014As you can see, its no walk in the park as with any of the stages. I will post the profiles of the previous days later in this article.

Trans Atlas Marathon 2014

Ali Naciri

 

The lead mens runner Ali Naciri by this stage was always going to win barring a major accident and he rolled home in Imlil in 32h57 for the 280km to cheers as he came down the street packed with residence cheering on their local heroes. He was followed closely by Samir Akhdar a regular at the MDS.

Winning lady was the incredible Aziza Raji, in 39h52. Aziza is a marathon runner of 2h 50 and the hills just never seemed to affect her. What a great competitor and role model for other Moroccan women. Another female competitor, Aicha Mrabet-Bensalah who ran her first race ever also completed. Half Moroccan half swiss, she came in at the end of the day to massive cheers and admiration for a truly brave and well run race.

Aziz Raji, Womens Winner

Aziz Raji, Womens Winner

The final stage of the event is a stand alone Marathon stage as well as being part of the Ultra. This allows other locals to enter without the fear of a huge first race or simply just to run a marathon. This years race was won by 2014 Marathon des Sables winner Rachid El Mourabity in 4h 46.

To summarise, as a new race I can only say good things about the Trans Atlas Marathon. I think it will grow fast but it will also be restricted in terms of numbers to keep the atmosphere that makes it so special. Sign up now if you are tempted. www.transatlasmarathon.com

Mens Results: 1st – Ali Naciri (Maroc) 32h57, 2nd – Samir Akhdar (Maroc) 34h40, 3rd – Smayri Rachid (Maroc)

Womens Results: 1st – Aziza Raji (Maroc) 39h52, 2nd – Magdalena Martini (Ger) 48h32, 3rd – AichaM’rabet-Bens (Maroc) 61h54

42K Results: 1st – Rachid Mourabity 4h46, 2nd – Abderahim Goumissa 5h02, 3rd – Abdeallah Ait Tazert 5h14

Team Winner UVU.

Here is a portfolio of the final stage to browse through.

Other stage profiles

Stage 1

1 etapa TAM 2014

Stage 2

2 etapa TAM 2014

Stage 3

3 etapa TAM 2014

Stage 4

4 etapa TAM 2014

Stage 5

5 etapa TAM 2014

As you can see, some pretty awesome days! Enter now.

Written by markgillett

June 15, 2014 at 8:04 am

Trans Atlas Marathon

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Last night I arrived in Morocco for the first time in just over a year. The last time was to shoot for the Marathon Des Sables but I am here this year for a new race, The Trans Atlas Marathon. Travelling and filming with Chris O’Conner of CojoFilms, We were greeted by Mohamad Ahansal. The last time I saw him was winning the 2013 MDS. Since then he and his brother Lahcen have set up their own race and, wow! What a course this seems to be…. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by markgillett

June 10, 2014 at 10:21 am

UTWT – Launch Analysis

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Its been two days now since the launch of UTWT, UltraTrail World Tour and there has been a fair amount of discussion on the TalkUltra site of Ian Corless. Just check here http://iancorless.org/

My own assessment will not be as detailed as Ian’s and not as authoritative but based more on my last 40 years in sport. Ian spends most of his time following Ultra’s and is probably right now, even tho I hate saying it, the most clued up in this area. So take a good look at his blog too.

My involvement over the last years has been in a media capacity for some extreme events/races and also as a runner or marathons and the MDS.

As I mentioned in my last post the ultra running world is a moving feast right now… Its exciting, growing, professionalising and attracting a very high level of disciplined runner. A new breed has appeared over the last three years that even when covering the MDS you can see a noticeable difference from year to year. Stronger, faster and and harder runners are appearing from nowhere.

With this, professionalisation is inevitable. Money will flow (unless we all go to war very soon, that is) into the races. Runners will become known and branded and there will be a call for a true ranking system.

It is here that I believe the UTWT or UTW[a]T as someone called it on Facebook, will sink or swim. Right now in its current form I think it will sink, be tossed around, choke, spit, and come to the surface spewing. It will then recover, maybe with new members or even a different name and be stronger. Its what normally happens especially when you rush in. A bit like diving in at the deep end at 3 years old with no armbands.

For a start they have put commercial reasons for setting up the tour in front of progressing the world of ultra racing. This can never work. Put the races and passions first and money will come and seek out the passionate. A ranking system is a logical next step for the ultra world. Also the categorising of races who wish to be considered competitive.

At the moment there is a mix of events. Those that are more “man challenges” and those that are races. This needs sorting out. Then the two, categorising and rankings system, go hand in hand. Races begin to flourish and the the sport becomes truly competitive and effective. More people get involved on a recreational level as a result because people love to follow their heroes. Its how the world works in sport.

So for me right now the analysis is quite simple. Its a bit of a cock up that will sort itself out in time. Or someone else will come up with a better thought out version that is true to the sport, true to the events and not solely a purpose of generating revenue and increasing personal exposure.

Written by markgillett

September 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm