Hedgie!

2 11 2008
Hedgie cruised over these bumps

These bumps did not slow Hedgie down

My Buddy Ryan Sandes has just won the frikkin Sahara desert multi stage race! His Cape Town name is actually Hedgie and he is a surf rat from Llandudno. Hedgie only decided a couple of years ago to run a race as a challenge from a buddy, but although I think his Dad was a runner of pedigree, he has never been psyched to runing. He would rather be on the beach with his buddies enjoying the glorious Cape Town beach vibe – nothing wrong with that! I remember seeing Hedgie at the start of the Table Mountain Challenge in 2006. I recognised him from the beach and asked him what he was doing there:

“Nooit bro, I thought I would give it a go hey.” He answered. I was impressed and gave him some tips, hopefull that he would be okay in this unfamiliar turf. I thought he was ignorant to the ways of mountain running. He was, but he still did really well and came home comfortably in the top 10. I laughed at myself for assuming he would need help. I nearly pulled out from dehydration that day!

From then on he has dominated. This year he won the Gobi Desert Challenge in China which was his first ever stage race! The dude is phenomenal. He has just won the Sahara 6 day stage race by a huge margin which included smashing the legend Dean Karnases from the USA -beautiful! Don’t bother reading the 4Deserts website. They host these cool races and although they seem to be a top race organiser and decent folk, the coverage of the races is nothing short of pathetic and in fact disgraceful in my opinion if you take into account Hedgies specific feats and the lack of interest as well as respect they have shown him this year. Hedgie himself is not phased and has not a bad word to say about them, this is just my opinion I must say.

Anyway I am so stoked for Ryan. Between the Gobi race and the Sahara one he has trained damn hard. This included training in a humidity ‘chamber’ at the sports science institute to simulate the tough desert conditions. He clearly got to the race in much better condition than the rest and won 5 of the 6 stages. That is one of the things that impresses me about Hedgie. His will to do his best which is clearly THE best must be phenomenal. I mean check out the Gobi results. The one stage (I think stage 3 or 4) he won by a few seconds which clearly indicates a sprint finish… in the desert … after over 100 or so km’s racing and with a significant overall lead… our boy is still sprinting to make sure he leaves nothing on the course.

Hedgie you good thing you! Extremely impressive and I love the fact you are so keen to represent your country in a sport that you have made your own and are clearly dominating in bro! Look forward to a cheeky session when you are rested so get those Canterburry compression garments on and rest those tough sticks of yours.

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