Johannesburg – Ultra-distance runner Ryan Sandes took fifth place in the prestigious Western States 161km trail race in California on Sunday.

Sandes, who finished second in his only previous attempt at the annual event, was lying 11th at the 48km mark but gradually climbed through the field in the second half.

He moved up to fourth position but was passed by Max King in the closing stages, crossing the line two minutes, 13 seconds behind the American in 15:47:02.

King’s countryman, Rob Krar, who was second last year, won the race in 14:53:24, completing the mega-distance race less than seven minutes outside the course record held by another American, Timothy Olson. – Sapa