Ryan Sandes is a South African trail runner. He has won all four of the 4 Deserts stage races and has won ultramarathons on every continent. He’ll be racing in and representing his hometown on May 3 in the Wings for Life World Run, a unique international race happening all across the globe at at the same time.
How did you get involved with the Wings for Life run? Did you race last year?
Yes, I ran Wings for Life World Run last year. It was the week after a 100-mile trail race I ran around Mount Fuji, so I took the race easy and ran it with my wife. It was lots of fun and the atmosphere was great.
Where are you going to be competing?
I will run the Cape Town Wings for Life World Run as that is my home town. I focus on trail running so the Wings for Life World Run is not a goal race for me. The initiative is however very close to my heart and I believe in giving back through a sport that has given me so much. I will take the run easy but I am looking forward to running with lots of people and I have encouraged all my friends to run.
How long have you been running for? Has it been a lifelong sport?
I have been running for nine years and professionally for seven years. I never thought I would become an ultrarunner and the sport has completely changed my life. I entered a marathon in 2006 as a few friends were running it. It went really well and I kept running. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was running ultra distance trail races.
Why did you want to get involved with the Wings for Life run?
I can’t imagine myself not being able to walk or run so I feel really strongly about supporting the Wings for Life project. My wife’s cousin has a spinal cord injury so it is something very close to our family.