9 questions to discover a marathon : International Marathon of Ouarzazate

07 Aug 2008 15:42
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Interview Focus on a race

About 12 month ago, I wrote a post (Run in the foot steps of Lawrence of Arabia) in this blog about a new marathon that had been created in Morroco . This year, thanks to Brahim Erragragui, founder of the race, we will have a clearer view of the marathon.

Ouarzazate 1

1) Hello, on March 22nd 2009 you’ll be organizing the International Marathon of Ouarzazate. Can you tell us where it is located?
The city of Ouarzazate is a striking mix of oasis, kasbah and flowery valleys.
It is located on a vast desert plateau that draws tourists from many different countries. Under the shades of the palm trees, lies Ouarzazate, leaving behind her a tremendous rocky desert swept up by all the winds from Sahara.

Several film studios are located here, giving to Ouarzazate the nickname of African Hollywood city ….

2) It’s the tenth edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?
Our simple goal for the second edition of the International Marathon of Ouarzazate is to do a better job than last year.
We wish to provide to our attendees both a sportive and human pleasure.

Additionnaly, we would also like to have an even larger mobilization from Ouarzazate citizens, in order to increase the growing reputation of our city, well beyond the Moroccan borders, as the African Hollywood city, its warmth and friendliness.

3) What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The route is made of 8km of road and 22 km of desert trail. It goes through mountains, dry wadi, Ouarzazate palm groves, sandy places, some oasis, along with film studios, where famous films have been recorded such as Kundun, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Astérix et Obélix, The Mummy, The Jewel of the Nile from Lewis Teague, The Sheltering Sky from Bernardo Bertolucci, and long time ago Ali baba et les 40 voleurs from Jacques Becker and of course Lawrence of Arabia.

4) How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
We are expecting more than 2,000 male or female amateurs and professionals runners.

5) Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

6) At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
Beautiful weather with a temperature between 18°C and 26°C (64°F to 79°F).

7) Have you planned festivities around the marathon?
A great musical party will take place animated by local traditional bands.

Ouarzazate Finish

The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Sommacampagna before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

After the Marathon, runners will be invited for a meal in the unforgettable PETITRIDE restaurant. After that, I would advise to visit some shops in the Souk, behind the historical Kasbah to find gifts for your family.

Do not forget to visit the films studios with their prestigious sets. And to finish your visit, I would suggest a walk to see the largest pedestrian square of the city.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of 42k195 to make them register for the Maratona Internazionale del Custoza ?

Our Super International Marathon of Ouarzazate is beyond the sportive adventure. It is the discovery of new territories and rare places. Enjoy your run !

The route has been chosen to give pleasure to runners, to let them discover untouched landscapes, an authentic city and share together the true value of sport. This marathon has to be yours, you will have the opportunity to discover, taste and appreciate Ouarzazate with all its outstanding sites, without moderation.

Thank you very much Brahim

For more information:

Ultra Marathon international Ouarzazate -Porte du désert