Johannesburg - Ultra-distance trail runner Ryan Sandes has confirmed he will not defend his title at the Transgrancanaria in March.
Sandes won the 125km race in the Canary Islands last year, crossing the line nine minutes ahead of second-placed Frenchman Julien Chorier.
"Unfortunately I picked up glandular fever towards the end of last year, so I have had to take it really easy for the past four weeks," said Sandes.
He admitted being sidelined by the illness had left him frustrated, but in hindsight he was relieved to give his body some rest after a challenging 2014 campaign.
"I was hoping to start my season off by running Transgrancanaria...a race I really enjoy," he said.
"However, after speaking to my doctor and support team, I have decided to pull out of Transgrancanaria to focus on getting 100% healthy and giving my body a chance to recover."
The 32-year-old said he would not concentrate on the Ultra Trail World Tour this season, after finishing second overall last year.
He would, however, return to the Western States 100-miler in California in June, where he hoped to become the first South African to win the prestigious race.
His 2015 schedule also included the 73km Transvulcania in the Canary Islands in May, in preparation for the Western States and the 162km Grand Raid of Reunion in October.