Trail-running ace Ryan Sandes has trotted his way to accolades in all forms of off-road running: He was the first person to have won all four of the 250-kilometre ‘Desert Races’; he’s won the Hong Kong 100km, the North Face 100 in Australia, the 125km North Face TransGranCanaria and the Salomon Skyrun, among others.
Perhaps his most famous achievement to date came without a racing singlet on when he and expedition partner Ryno Griesel, set a new record (41hours:49mins) for the complete a 210 kilometre Grand Traverse of the Drakensberg Mountain range in South Africa. The nimble-footed Hout Bay mountain goat has competed in both previous Oakley X-Overs. He surfed a bit in his younger days so is a threat in the water for sure, on the bike leg he’ll outlast anyone but to be in with a real chance of the overall win he’ll have to work on getting away from his nickname ‘Sandman’ on the golf course.
We quizzed him on what’s looking forward to at the 2016 event.
- Getting towed into some waves by Shawn ‘Billy’ Payne. We did one-two proper launches over waves last year – it was fun though and the surf is always a highlight of the week for me.
- Not coming last in the golf this year. Apparently Kerim Fitz-Gerald is just as bad a me when it comes to golf, so I’m stoked he’s going to be there.
- The lines Greg Minnaar is going to take in his golf cart. He is on a role (competitively) this year and will hit the St Francis Links full of confidence.
- The mountain bike is always very entertaining. I am looking forward to seeing what tricks Tom (the Aussie) has this been practicing this year. Last year he perfected ‘over the handlebars’. I will try stay on the bike as I leave for Europe a few days after X-Over.
- Hanging out will all the Oakley X-Over guys. They are a great bunch of dudes and it’s always a super fun few days with lots of laughs. Founder Seth Hulley has really created something special!