Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 134, October 2020 Issue 134, October 2020 | Page 30

very excited , so I trained even harder and then used my experience of the route to tackle the race again in 2017 , and I was so happy to take the win !” ( He also improved his time from 13:30 to 12:56 !)
Lucky injured his hamstring in 2018 , while running the 116km MaXi-Race in France – his longest run to date – and it took about seven months to recover . “ I still managed to finish , the race and crossed the line 11th . It was another hectic but really good race experience .” By late 2019 he was back to full fitness and started the 2019 SkyRun as one of the favourites . Running in hot , dry conditions , he crossed the line first in 13:56 , and says , “ It was a wonderful day , but very tough . The second half was brutal , but I was glad
I managed to hold on and take the title !”

Quality Family Time

When Lucky isn ’ t running , his normal workday sees him doing admin and sales work at The Fastener Network , a supplier of nuts and bolts , where has been working for some 20 years . He commutes to work each day in Sandton from his home in Phumula , near Boksburg , but still tries to start every day with an early morning run . “ It gives me that energised feeling before I start my day , and my three boys also join me on some training runs ,” says Lucky .
He is very proud of his sons , Tebogo ( 19 ), Tshepo ( 14 ) and Sifiso ( 8 ), all of whom are showing that they have inherited their father ’ s running talent . “ Tebogo has been to SA Champs twice as a sprinter , and he can run 100m in 10.51 . He ’ s also jumped a best of seven metres 19 in the long jump . Tshepo also enjoys running , and often joins me at races to do the fun runs , but I think the youngest is going to break all my records someday , because he just loves running . We spend a lot of time together as a family at sporting activities , especially running , both participating or supporting , and also helping each other with all the housework , watching movies or sports , and traveling !” says Lucky .
Any spare time after family , training and work is devoted to encouraging and developing young running talent in his Phumula community , where Lucky is the co-founder and chairman of the Gallopers Athletics Club . He started the club in 2012 with his friend and fellow runner , Johannes Mthimkulu , with
the goal of restoring pride and a healthy perspective of life in the youth of the township . “ Our club has close to 100 members , including a development squad , and athletes participating in road , cross country and on the track . We have runners from all walks of life , including beginners , and I enjoy motivating them ,” says Lucky .
When asked if he has any words of wisdom for newcomers to trail running , Lucky warns that “ Trail running is not a walk in the park , it is tougher than road , and you need the proper gear , but it is also fun . You will need to be prepared to suffer at some points , but it is awesome to be out in nature , away from the cars , and enjoying the beautiful views .” Also , when asked
what his plans for after SkyRun 2020 look like , Lucky just laughs , and says , “ I have no plans after that , because I don ’ t know yet which races will be coming up . I have been invited for the MaXi-Race in Stellenbosch on 12 December , so at least I have that to look forward to .”
Images : Llewellyn Lloyd / Reblex Photography

Welcome to the Skyrun

While many races have been cancelled this year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic , the K-Way SkyRun is going ahead on Saturday 14 November , offering 100km , 64km and 38km distances . “ After seeing so many races not only cancelled this year , but also lose title sponsors due to financial constraints caused by the global pandemic , we feel truly blessed to have partnered with a brand like K-Way , which honours its commitment to not only the race , but the sport of trail and mountain running in general ,” says Michael de Haast , the race organiser from Pure Adventures .
The SkyRun was first run in 1997 and is a truly self-supported and self-navigational race , where athletes tackle the remote terrain of the Witteberg Mountain range with a GPS unit ( or map and compass ) and a backpack containing all their food , water and compulsory gear that will enable them to survive in this harsh environment . After all , they will be operating at an average height of between 2200-2500 meters above sea level .
The trail starts in Lady Grey and finishes in Barkley East , with Avoca Peak the highest point ( 2756m ) on the race . From Avoca , the route takes you over the ‘ Dragonback ,’ a ridgeline that is only about three metres wide with frighteningly steep drops on either side , but offers a spectacular viewing point on a clear day . There is a compulsory stop at Balloch Cave after 55km , and once athletes have done their medical and been given the all-clear by the doctor , they take on the challenges of Balloch Wall , Bridal Pass and Halston Peak , before the technical descent to the finish .
This year ’ s race will be run following strict COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all involved . For more info , please visit www . skyrun . co . za . 30
ISSUE 134 OCTOBER 2020 / www . modernathlete . co . za