Ian: ‘You’re going to run how far?’
Ryan: ‘250 kilometres. But it’s over seven days, though.’
Ian: ‘And the furthest you’ve ever run is …?’
Ryan: ‘42.2 kilometres … on the road. And on trail … 35 kilometres.’
Ian: ‘Ryan, I think you need to reassess this …’
What does it take to run a six-day race through the world’s harshest deserts? Or 100 miles in a single day at altitudes that would leave you breathless just walking? More than that, though: what is it like to win these races? South Africa’s ultra-trail-running superstar Ryan Sandes has done just that.
Since bursting onto the international trail-running scene by winning the first multistage race he ever entered – the brutal Gobi March – Ryan has gone on to win various other multistage and single-day races around the globe. Written with bestselling author and journalist Steve Smith, Trail Blazer – My Life as an Ultra-distance Trail Runner recounts the life story of this intrepid sportsman, from his experiences as a rudderless party animal to becoming a world-class athlete, and includes details on his training regimes, race strategies and aspirations for future sporting endeavours. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the adrenaline-inducing trials and tribulations of one of South Africa’s most awe-inspiring athletes, while endurance-sport participants – from beginners to aspirant pros – will benefit from his insights and advice.
As Professor Tim Noakes says in the Foreword to this book: ‘However much we might think we know and understand, there are some phenomena which now, and perhaps forever, we will never fully comprehend. We call such happenings “enigmas”. Or even miracles. Ryan Sandes is one such.’
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