Photos: Ryan and Ryno’s record run at Drakensberg

Go behind the scenes of Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel’s Drakensberg Grand Traverse.
By Josh Sampiero

What's the Drakensberg Grand Traverse? You can learn all about it here, but we'll explain the basics: world-class ultra-runners Ryan Sandes and Ryno Griesel tackled more than 200km of high mountain running – and set a new record of 41 hours and 49 minutes while doing it. Enjoy the photos – they're a lot less painful than the run!

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Set to start
Ready, set, go
Set to start Ryan (left) and Ryno check their wrist-mounted, GPS-enabled watches prior to the start of the race – an important tool for maintaining a pace that's quick, but not too quick. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
Field flyover
Field flyover The helicopter cam catches Ryan and Ryno at a fast pace over an open field. Bet they wished it was all like this! © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
Misty mountain hop
Over the hills and far away
Misty mountain hop At the altitude they're running, condensation gathers around the peaks. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
River running
Soaked.
River running The run included a slog across a shallow river. We're going to guess that water isn't warm. And as for running in wet shoes? We don't need to guess – it's no fun. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
Far and away
Flat? Easy.
Far and away The team crosses a ridge line in low light. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
Ferrata fun
It's just like climbing the stairs.
Ferrata fun Ryan and Ryno are grateful for some man-made assistance in overcoming a wall late at night. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
Pointed peaks
It's just like climbing the stairs.
Pointed peaks The Drakenbergs tower over the surrounding terrain. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
Find the grass, hit the gas
It's just like climbing the stairs.
Find the grass, hit the gas Wide open fields meant the team could put the pedal to the metal and gain time towards their world-record attempt. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
Going up…
It's just like climbing the stairs.
Going up… Often, the rate of climb was steep enough that Ryan and Ryno would slow down to ‘speed-hiking’ pace, as opposed to running. Ryan puts his hands on his knees for extra support during a climb. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
… Coming down
It's just like climbing the stairs.
… Coming down Often, going down meant using hands and feet. Ryan keeps his balance with his hands while bounding over rocks. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
Top speed: 15 mph
Run, Ryan, run.
Top speed: 15 mph Ryan and Ryno weren’t doing all-out sprints – but while 15 mph may be slow for your car, it’s anything but when you’re climbing mountains. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
Exhaustion, exemplified
Hungry. Tired. Thirsty. Happy.
Exhaustion, exemplified There’s no question what the look on Ryno Griesel’s face means in this picture: he’s tired. Very tired. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool
Drakensberg dream
Run when the weather’s good.
Drakensberg dream While exhausting, tiring, challenging and difficult, the run was also beautiful, remote, awe-inspiring and breathtaking. © Kelvin Trautman / Red Bull Content Pool