Mohammed El Hattab

Posted in: Track & Field
Jun 7, 2009 - 10:46:28 PM


Born: 1/1/76

Nationality: Moroccan

Height: 5'7"

Weight: 130 lbs

Personal Records:

5k- 13:29
1/2 Marathon-1:01.83


Mohammed El Hattab is one of the many young Moroccan runners who is following in the footsteps of the great runners from Morocco's recent history. He is however following a path not on the track but on the roads. El Hattab has won many local and international road races in France but he felt the true place to make a name on the roads was in America. With the help of his coach Said Aouita, El Hattab came to the USA in late 1997 and began training with Aouita. El Hattab ran a few local races with the goal of running the LA Marathon. In a lead up to the 1998 LA race, El Hattab entered the New Bedford 1/2 Marathon in Massachusetts. He won the race in a freezing rain in 1:06.02 almost 2:30 minutes ahead of the second place finisher. He was ready for LA.

At the LA marathon, Mohammed went out well staying with the lead pack in his first marathon. He was with the first group until he was accidentally trip and fell on his knee. He got up but the knee began to swell and he withdrew from the race.

After the LA marathon El Hattab returned to training in Morocco. He won the Casablanca 1/2 marathon in a PR of 1:01.83 in preparation for the New York Marathon.

El Hattab trained well for the 1998 New York Marathon and came prepared to make his mark. Mohammed was in the lead pack through 22 miles but like many of the favorites and veterans the flu which was going around caught up to Mohammed, who had been fighting a cold and fever days before arrival in New York. Unlike many of the other runners in the elite group, Mohammed did not quit and in fact finished the race for his first complete marathon. He was 22 years old and the top finisher for his age.


Mohammed ran the Cleveland Marathon in the spring of 1999 but was again unlucky in that his feet began bleeding at mile 12. Bleeding from both feet through his shoes, El Hattab finished the race coming in 12th overall.

In July of 1999, after training at altitude, El Hattab ran a 1/2 marathon in Casablanca, Morocco winning easily.

Mohammed ran the San Sebastian Marathon in November of 1999 placing 5th in a time of 2:14.01 behind 4 Kenyans. The winning time was 2:12.34. It was a good run but one that Mohammed knows could have been better.

El Hattab trained through 2000 and was picked for the Moroccan team that would run in the Olympics but at the last minute the Federation through political maneuvers failed to take Mohammed to Sydney. He was very disappointed but kept his head high and trained to run in San Sebastian. View/Edit SourceHe became ill three weeks before the marathon and did not train but did run in the race and finished 3rd.

In 2001 El Hattab ran for the first time in London and finished 13th. He also ran in the Francofone Games in Canada for Morocco and won the Marathon.

El Hattab is a young marathoner on the rise and will be a force to be reckoned with as he continues to mature in the sport.