“Super excited, the weather looks perfect, can't wait to begin!” – those were the last words Ryan passed on to the communication team just before his final few minutes of preparation for the Drakensberg Grand Traverse, which you can follow live here.
He and Ryno Griesel started at midnight, Central African Time. With 220km over the Drakensberg range, ending at the Bushman's Nek Border Post, spanning in front of them, Ryan and Ryno are up for what may be the challenge of their lives.
The Drakensberg range may be part of an internationally recognised conservation area, but this is no walk in the park – it's one of the toughest trail runs in the world. For a fit hiker, the trail takes six to 10 days to complete. Ryan and Ryno hope to do it in less than three – carrying everything they'll need to survive on their backs and sourcing water from mountain streams.
Obviously, one does not undertake such an adventure without serious preparation. “After two years of prep, I can't believe we're about to be making this attempt!”, says Ryno.
The middle-of-the-night start should give way to a breathtakingly beautiful Drakensberg mountain morning. While good weather will let them move faster, they're prepared for almost anything the mountains can throw at them – and that can be plenty.
And no matter how far you are away from the action, you can tune in the live tracking here, following along with Ryan and Ryno every step of the way.