Morocco, Land of Football


08 January 2017

Take your marks for a fantastic year of racing in Morocco. From the high-octane thrills of the World Touring Car Championships to one of the most punishing foot races around, people from all over the world will flock to the kingdom to watch and compete in some of the most exhilarating races on the planet.

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Usually referred to as the MdS in running circles, the Marathon de Sables was first run thirty years ago, when 186 hardy souls ran the equivalent of over five marathons through the Sahara under the blazing sun. Three decades on and over a thousand people are set to take part in what has been dubbed as ‘the toughest footrace in the world’ this April.

Leave all prejudices and clichés behind, the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Maroc is a women-only motor rally that draws competitors of all ages, nationalities and walks of life. It’s a rally with a difference – the start and finish are set points, but it’s up to the competitors to choose their route. Speed isn’t the aim here, instead the winners are the ones who drive the shortest possible distance.

This May the FIA World Touring Car Championship returns to Marrakech, bringing with it some of the best rally drivers in the world. One of just two street circuits on the tour, the Red City will be transformed into a petrolhead’s paradise for a whole weekend when the FIA circus rolls into town. It’s your chance to join in the fun and see famous racers like Sebastien Loeb, Yvan Muller and Jose Maria Lopez put through their paces by this fast, exciting circuit.


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If your ambition is to run a marathon this year, then why not run a Moroccan marathon? Casablanca, Tangier and Marrakech all hold these prestigious events over the year, with routes that encompass their most famous sights. All three cities offer the full 26 mile course as well as a half marathon and Casablanca even offers a relay option, allowing teams of up to four people to work together to cover the distance. Of course, if you don’t want all that exertion you can still enjoy the atmosphere as a spectator, cheering on the brave competitors.