Sandes ha compiuto quest'impresa nell'agosto del 2012.
E' stato invitato in vista della realizzazione di una di corsa trail in autosufficienza su percorso della "Five day Fish River Canyon", con una finalità promozionale e dimostrativa, per fare in definitiva da "battistrada" e da testimonial.
Per documentare la sua impresa è stato realizzato un breve filmato presentato allo Shnit International Short Film Festival (dal 2 al 6 ottobre 2013) che si svolge annualmente dal 2002 a Berna).
Ryan Nicholas Sandes "Hedgie" (born 10 March 1982 in Cape Town), is a South African trail runner. In 2010 he became the first competitor to have won all four of the 4 Deserts races, each a 6/7-day, 250-kilometer (160 mi) self-supported footrace through the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Gobi Desert in China, the Sahara Desert in Egypt, and lastly Antarctica. His achievement prompted Mary Gadams, founder and CEO of RacingThePlanet and organiser of the event, to state “Ryan Sandes is clearly one of the top endurance athletes in the world - to have won all 4 Deserts is a remarkable accomplishment”.
To date only 81 individuals have completed all four the trails. 11 competitors have managed the 4 Deserts Grand Slam, that is, completing the four trails in a calendar year (from 1 January to 31 December of the same year). Time magazine voted the 4 Deserts Challenge as second on a list of the ten most demanding endurance races in the world.
Sandes was winner of the Sahara Race in 2008, the Gobi March in 2008, second in 2009 RacingThePlanet Namibia and winner of the Jungle Ultra Marathon in the Floresta Nacional do Tapajós, in Pará, Brazil, setting a new course record.
Sandes won the 2011 Leadville Trail 100, in a time of 16:46:54, more than half an hour ahead of runner-up Dylan Bowman. He won the 2012 North Face 100 in Australia in a time of 9:22:45, having been placed 3rd in 2011.
In August 2012 Sandes bettered Russell Pasche's record for the 90 km Fish River Canyon hiking trail from 10 hours 54 minutes to 6 hours 57 minutes.
Sandes attended the South African College Schools (S.A.C.S.) where he took part in cricket, rugby and water polo. He was awarded a BSc degree in Construction and later an Honours in Quantity Surveying at the University of Cape Town. In addition to trail running, he is an active mountain biker, paddler and surfer.
La 5 days Fish River Canyon Trail
- The walk is approximately 85km long, and usually takes between 4-5 days to complete.
- The Fish River hike is not very difficult, but challenging.
- A decent level of fitness is essential, as the trails entail 7 to 8 hours walking per day.
- You will have to carry your own luggage every day, including food and water (all together approximately 12–15 kg per person.)
- Children under the age of 12 are not permitted.
- Demand is high, so reservations should be made well in advance.
- No facilities are available and hikers sleep outdoors for the entire trip.
- Hikers must have a recent medical certificate of fitness, dated no more than 40 days and complete an indemnity form, prior to commencing the trail.