Taking on the Fish River CanyonBy: TANJA BAUSE
RYAN Sanders had to abandon his Fish River Canyon trail run record attempt in 2011 due to heavy rains but next month he will try again.
The record for the 84km trail run was originally set in July 1990 by South Africans Ronnie Muhl and Bruce Matthews in a time of 11 hours and 54 minutes. Three Namibians – Russel Paschke, Charlie du Toit and Coenraad Pool – broke the record in August 2003 with a time of 10 hours and 54 minutes.
Sanders hopes to break this record this year.
“A few years ago I had the privilege of running part of the Fish River Canyon as one of the stages of the Racing the Planet Namibia race. The canyon is one of the most beautiful places I have seen, but at the same time one of the harshest environments I have run in,” said Sanders.
“I really battled in the canyon due to the extreme heat and terrain and running in there was one of the toughest days of my athletic career. Since then it has been on my list to come back and defeat. Last year we were all ready to tackle the record attempt, when heavy rainfalls and flooding in the canyon forced us to abandon everything. This year it will happen, I will not let the canyon get the better of me for another year.”
He said the challenge will be “extremely tough”, especially since he ran the Western States 100-miler in the USA at the end of June, but he said he can’t wait to get back into the canyon.
“The record attempt will be filmed by the African Attachment/Wandering Fever so I will keep everyone posted on where and when you can watch it,” he said.