Ahansal and Hicks win 2013 Marathon des Sables





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Published on Apr 12, 2013

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Morocco's Mohamed Ahansal and Meghan Hicks of the United States secure the men's and women's honours in the 2013 Marathon des Sables after the completion of the fifth and final competitive stage, a 42.2 kilometre (26.2 mile) route between Jebel el Mraier and Merdani in the Sahara desert on Friday.

Stage five of the 2013 Marathon des Sables took place on Friday in southern Morocco.

It was the last chance for movement on the leaderboard, with just Saturday's short procession into Merzouga to come.

Home runner Mohamad Ahansal led Jordanian defending champion Salameh Al Aqra by almost 45 minutes coming into the leg and was not about to let that advantage slip.

All he had to do was keep Al Aqra in his sights and by the 20 kilometre mark, Al Aqra knew that his defence of the title was not going to be successful.

Ahansal's Moroccan compatriot Aziz El Akad won the stage in a time of three hours, 18 minutes and 36 seconds, almost eight minutes ahead of Al Aqra.

Ahansal came in third, but lost just four minutes on the day and the 40 year-old endurance specialist soon became confirmed as the winner of the Marathon des Sables for the fifth time in his career.

In the women's competition, Laurence Klein of France's withdrawal on the fourth stage left the way clear for 34 year-old American Meghan Hicks to take control.

Hicks actually lost Friday's stage to Briton Joanna Meek, but still had an overall lead of more than an hour over Meek as she secured the title.

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