Sandes creates history in the US
Ryan Sandes won his first attempt at the Leadville Trail 100 Ultramarathon (aka LT100) yesterday in Colorado, USA. He finished the 160km distance in a time of 16:46:56, the third fastest time in the race’s 28-year history. This was also Sandes’ first attempt at a 100 miler. Second place went to Dylan Bowman in 17:18:59 and Neal Gorman took third in 17:48:57. Here are Ryan’s comments:
Wow… where to start? Yesterday was one of the toughest but best days of my life.
I hade been dreaming about winning Leadville 100 for the past six months and to cross the finish line in first place was definitely one of the highlights, if not the highlight, of my athletic career.
My six weeks training in Leadville went really well; without a doubt I trained harder than I have ever before. Tempo runs and speed sessions at 3500m hurt but I have learnt nothing comes easy in life. The week leading up to the race was tense, I believed I could win this race and played out a number of deferent race scenarios in my mind. The support and good luck messages I got were awesome and without a doubt these carried me across the line.
Race day came and I started off quite slow – my plan was to run according to my watch and body. On the first major climb of the day I was in fifth position and my quads were already hurting. This was not a good sign and I knew today I was going to have to dig deeper and push my body and mind further than I had ever before.
At 65km we climbed over Hope Pass and I seemed to be feeling stronger than most of the guys, moving from fifth to first place by the time we got off the mountain. It was a risky move but my gut feel said do it! Running into the turnaround point I told myself today was my day and if I wanted this race bad enough it was mine. The next 80km hurt like hell and I can’t thank my pacers and support crew enough for getting me across that finish line. My quads were on fire and mentally I was exhausted but running down 6th Street to the finish line was an insane feeling of euphoria and really emotional. I was handed the South African flag and immediately there were tears in my eyes. I had done it – my dream of winning the Leadville 100 had come true!
Thanks to my dream givers: Velocity Sports Lab, Salomon, Red Bull, Oakley, Cross Country, Suunto, Imazine and Hammer Nutrition – this would all not have been possible without you.