Abderrahim Goumri : Morocco’s Marathon-Running Marvel
From a young age Moroccan long distance runner, Abderrahim Goumri, has excelled at his chosen sport, doing well in road and cross country events, as well as on indoor and outdoor tracks. His dedication to his chosen sport is evident by the effort he puts into each event and his pleasure at participating no matter what the final outcome may be.
The first club that Goumri was associated with was the Olympique de Safi, a club that has counted some noteworthy runners in its ranks, including the legendary Boulami brothers. Goumri first had the honor of representing Morocco outside its borders in 1995 in Durham, England, when he ran as a junior at the World Cross Country Championships, finishing 25th and sharing in a team bronze medal.
Although he favored road races, the Moroccan federation encouraged him to concentrate his efforts on running the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter track events. After competing in 1,500 meter and 5,000 meter events in Scandinavia in the late 1990s, Goumri was out of action due to injuries for the best part of 2000, making an impressive comeback in 2001 by competing in a number of Grand Prix meetings. In 2001 he represented Morocco for the first time as a senior when he competed in the Jeux de la Francophonie in Ottawa, taking second place in the 5,000 meter event. Later in the same year he claimed 16th place in the 10,000 meter event at the Edmonton World Championships. Since 2002, Goumri has represented Morocco each year at the Cross Country Championships, winning three team bronze and one team silver medal, as well as being placed in the top ten on numerous occasions.
At his marathon running debut in April 2007, Goumri finished second in the London Marathon, a mere three seconds behind winner Martin Lel from Kenya. These two dedicated runners found themselves in a similar situation at the New York City Marathon in November 2007, with Martin Lel claiming first place and Abderrahim Goumri just 12 seconds behind him. When asked to comment on his second place victory, Goumri replied in his characteristically good humored manner, “That’s sport, one loser, one winner, it’s okay.” He went on to say that he was happy to be there and to have had the opportunity to compete, which he hoped to do again in the future. Certainly, Abderrahim Goumri has done his home country of Morocco proud, and fans will be watching his future endeavors with great interest.