(Saharawi Refugee Camps in Tindouf) Smara -. Forty years after having left their occupied country, the Sahrawi refugees living in the Tindouf camps celebrate this week the sad anniversary with hope and solidarity of hundreds of runners from around the world who have come to participate in the SaharaMarathon.
The solidarity race has reached its sixteenth edition in a sunny day in which participants had to face that dreaded desert that impresses with its immensity and the difficulties that athletes must face: the stony ground, the climbs and sandbanks .
In these circumstances the race has had as its protagonists two representatives of the Spanish delegation, because after an initial struggle with Saharawi and Algerian runners, Jon Salvador and Vicente Grande Duque begun their competition.
During the competition Jon Salvador, who already knows what it means to win a Sahara Marathon, started to feel cramps in the legs and left Vincente to run on his way alone to the shared glory with the Saharawi people.
“It was a tough race, but when you see the people of this nation with their hope, you gain stength. I had a hard time on the sand dunes, because I’m not used to, but in the end everything went well. Now I want to enjoy my stay with this wonderful people “- commented Vicente victorious after reaching the goal, Smara. The second position was occupied by another Spaniard, Juan Pedro Garcia Ochoa who has distanced the Algerian runners, even if they know the ground better.
In the women’s race, the victory went to Italy with Erika Buoso, and second Amanda Mannerwik, Sweden.
But the Spanish have also played an important role in the rest of the distances that take place on the same day as Montse Diaz won the women’s half marathon in front of the Catalan Silvia Grive, who prevailed in a tight sprint. Meanwhile, Maria Luisa Guillen won the race 10 kilometers.
This same distance, but in the men’s category, the winner was a hero of the Saharawi sports, the young Amaidan Salah who has become known when he raised the Saharawi flag during an international competition representing Morocco.
In addition to these sports results, the success of the Sahara Marathon is the worldwide spread of the Saharawi cause in order to prevent it from falling into oblivion, and to push the international community to enforce the O.N.U. resolutions and to convene a fair referendum.
Moreover the runners come to the refugee camps with humanitarian aid, medicines, school supplies and donations to launch a number of projects in support of refugees through sport and education.
And what is most important, spend a week with Saharawi families, integrating into society and creating a festive atmosphere on hold throughout the year: the week of the SaharaMarathon.
SAHARA MARATHON 2016
1º Vicente Grande Duque (Esp) 3:01:08
2ºJuan Pedro García Ochoa (Esp) 3:13:02
3ºTaibi Djamel (Arg) 3:25:52
1ªErika Buoso (Ita) 4:11:56
2ªAmanda Mannerwik (Sue) 4:20:16
3ªGiovanna Sansoni (Ita) 4:44:16
SAHARA HALF MARATHON 2016
1ºTsabet Ouadhah (Arg) 1:13:43
2ºBoubdallah Benahmed Aissa (Arg) 1:15:24
3ºAttout Hicham (Arg) 1:16:02
1ªMontse Diaz (Esp) 2:06:53
2ªSilvia Grivé (Esp) 2:06:56
3ªYlva Zetterlund (Sue) 2:29:39
SAHARA 10 Km.
1ºAmaidan Salah (Sah) 32:55
2ºChefrour Salah (Arg) 37:30
3ºSeddiki Hassen (Arg) 37:44
1ªMaría Luisa Guillen (Esp) 46:23
2ªAnne Trincal (Fra) 53:08
3ªNawel Chabbi (Arg) 54:23