Sandes to tackle first local 100 Miler at UTD

South African ultra-distance trail running trail-blazer Ryan Sandes will take on his first 100 Miler on South African soil when he joins a strong field at Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg starting on 23 April. Graeme Murray/Red Bull Content Pool

Underberg – The quality elite field assembling for Ultra Trail® Drakensberg that gets under way on Friday 23 April has been bolstered by the late addition of legendary South African ultra-distance trail runner Ryan Sandes, who will tackle the tough UTD160 event.

The 39 year old Capetonian was due to take on his debut UTD event last year but that fell by the wayside when it, along with many other events, got shelved under the Covid-19 hard lockdown.

His 2021 plans includes a number of races in Europe, but when those were also cancelled the Red Bull/Salomon star was able to set his sights on the UTD 100 miler, and is excited by the prospect.

“It will actually be my first 100 miler in South Africa, which seems pretty crazy as I have been running professionally for fourteen years now!” said Sandes.

“I was keen to run it last year but then ended up running a hundred miles around my home instead.

“This is such a positive to come out of my European races being cancelled because this is a race that I have really wanted to do,” said Sandes.

Sandes said that his training had been good but conceded that he wasn’t initially planning on doing a tough 100 miler.

“I am busy working on a project in the Drakensberg for next year so I have been out there and have done a training run through the night last week, so I feel that I should be ready.

“The older I get the less pressure I put on myself and I really want to soak it all up and enjoy racing at home and having my wife and son there,” he added.

More information can be found at www.ultratraildrakensberg.com