Andrew Abela secured a prestigious result in the gruelling Marathon des Sables as the Maltese ultramarathon runner placed 34th overall in the men’s classification.
Abela has completed the famous ultramarathon race classifying in the top ranks among the elite runners coming from every corner of the world.
The Maltese ultra marathon runner completed the race in an official time of 35 hours 25 minutes and 21 seconds to place 34th in the male overall classification.
The 250km race which was held in the Moroccan Sahara Desert took place over a period of seven days.
Participants carried their own supplies of food, water, sleeping kit and first aid with them for the duration of the race.
Climatic conditions throughout the race proved very challenging with temperatures often exceeding 50 degrees Celsius for extended periods of time.
The race typically takes place in April which is spring in the Sahara Desert when temperatures are slightly more favourable.
Apart from the extreme heat, a number of participants were also affected by a stomach virus. An unusual number of participants dropped out during this edition of the race as more than 40% were unable to complete it.
Maltese coach Kevin Zammit, who helped Andrew Abela and the other Maltese participant Thomas Cremona in preparing for this race. was delighted with the performance of his athletes.
Unfortunately for Thomas Cremona, the race had to come to an early end as he was forced to retire after facing difficulties with his food intake.
Cremona’s performance in the earlier stages of the race was very encouraging.
The winner of the race was Rachid El Morabity of Morocco followed by is brother Mohamed in second place.
This is the eighth time that Rachid El Morabity has won the Marathon des Sables.