Sandman off to Round Two with nemesis NorthFace
Ryan Sandes jets to Australia on 7 May 2012 to compete in the fifth edition of the NorthFace 100 ultra-marathon, a race that hit him hard in 2011. Little wonder… it’s known as one of the most difficult 100km ultra-trail marathon events in the southern hemisphere. It starts on Saturday 19 May, in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park in Leura, Australia.
He made a few critical mistakes last year and has won some prestigious events since, including Leadville, which is over 160km. Could he be gunning for a win this year? He tells TRAIL mag why he’s a different athlete this year.
Do you plan to do anything differently this year and do you think that could result in a win? I would love to win the TNF Aus 100 but my first goal will be to finish it. One hundred kilometres is a long way and anything can happen out there, so going into the race saying I want to win it would be getting a bit ahead of myself. This year I will focus less on the competition and run my own race according to how I am feeling. I will make sure I am a lot more disciplined with my nutrition during the first half of the race as that was my downfall last year.
How much faster would you guess you are than this time last year? I would like to think I am a lot more experienced than compared to last year so I am hoping to run a much stronger race. I also think I am a stronger athlete compared to last year and had a good start to the year in Hong Kong. But I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself… it’s all about making it happen come race day. I am a lot more experienced this year and more familiar with the 100km distance race.
Who are your main rivals this year? Jez Bragg from the North Face (UK) (WON UTMB 2010), Mick Dongas, NZ and Aus 100km champions, Grant Guise are a few of the names that come to mind – there are a few rumors of some other international runners coming to the vent but nothing is confirmed yet. There is a big SkyMarathon on the same weekend in Spain and the UTMF (a new event) is happening the same weekend. The race sold out in 30 minutes and the talk is the Aussies won’t be letting a foreigner win their race.