Classy Bird Blog

Zebra Press is set to publish Ryan Sandes's life story

This entry was posted on 24 August 2015.

On Friday 28 August South Africa’s ultra-distance running sensation Ryan Sandes will join the world’s toughest runners to compete in Europe’s biggest ultra-trail race over 166 km in the Alps, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Simultaneously Penguin Random House is thrilled to announce that Sandes’s life story will be published under the Zebra Press imprint in March 2016.


Sandes will co-write his biography, Trail Blazer – My life as an ultra-distance runner, with journalist Steve Smith. The world knows Sandes as being a party-loving young man who, on a whim, decided to enter and then win a very tough multi-day desert trail race. No more than an above-average distance runner, it seemed his great strength was his phenomenal mental capacity to endure.


The book looks at Sandes’s fascinating journey to becoming one of the world’s best ultra-distance runners. It examines the inner strength and various abilities that enabled him to leave behind the multi-day stage races and take on the highly competitive, single-day ultra-trail races like Leadville and Western States 100-milers in the USA and The North Face 100 km in Australia. In 2014 he was ranked no. 2 on the newly formed Ultra-Trail World Tour.


On his upcoming biography Sandes says: “I am really excited to be teaming up with Steve to write a book on my life story. I never thought in my wildest dreams I would become a professional ultra-distance trail runner. Running has taken me on a life-changing journey, and at times these experiences have been pretty surreal. I hope my book will inspire people to dream and make the most of their lives.” 


Sandes’s sponsors share in the excitement about his upcoming book. Lee Besnard, Salomon South Africa brand manager, says: “It has been an honour and a privilege supporting Ryan Sandes on his incredible journey to global recognition as an extreme ultra-distance running super-star. At times unbelievable, his story is both humbling and inspirational.” Red Bull athlete manager Ryan Payne says: “Ryan Sandes’s story of how he rose from working-class hero to one of the best trail runners the world has seen is truly amazing. I have no doubt this captivating read will inspire more people to pursue what they love, no matter what their sporting discipline is.”


Penguin Random House wishes Sandes all the best for his coming race and that he will once again be the first to cross the finish line.


Photo credit: Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool.


For more information, contact Surita Joubert at / 021 460 5462, or visit