Posted by Kyle Redelinghuys in Interviews on May 23, 2015
A big thanks to Terence Vrugtman from AdventureLife.co.za for the amazing pictures.
Lucky Miya has made a name for himself in the South African and international trail running scene. Last year he won the Ingleli SkyMarathon, earning him a trip to the World Champs in France. He also earned the top spot at the Num Num Trail, again, and head to the World Long Distance Trail Champs in the USA where he placed higher than any other SA male in World Champs. Lucky is also known for his modest view on his personal achievements, and has a fond place in the heart of South Africans.
At the recent SA World Champs at Molweni, Lucky placed a fantastic second. “It was very tough, and I needed both mental and physical fitness, but hey what a great course, tough fields, enjoyed the difficult route with spectacular scenery of mother’s nature and super organized race.” says Lucky. Now heading to the World Champs again, Lucky is looking forward to it. “Absolutely, it was my plan to go back to the World Champs, I’m so excited to be part of the SA Team.”
Lucky is headed to the FNB Platinum Trail Run shortly, “Since I’m busy with the training for the World Champs is good to have one or two races between as part of your training, so it will be fantastic to race there as it is also a fast race.” says Lucky. “A big thank you to my coach Neville Beeton for all the training plans and tips he’s putting together for me. I’m currently busy with high intensity training at the moment with hills, speed and tempo runs included in my weekly program.”
Having come from a road running background, and then falling in love with trail, Lucky has grown fond of the longer distances and tougher races. “I enjoyed the long distance where I can run between 3h30min to 6hrs and must be the challenging routes because I feel very happy and proud to go out of my comfort zone and completed the intended goal.” Sharing his favourite route, this shows quite clearly, “The Num-Num Trail in Mpumalanga has a bit of everything: single track trails, open grasslands, sandstone rock formations, great views, steep climbs, twisty forest sections, ladders, bridges and waterfalls.” The Num Num Trail is known for it’s beauty, but also for it’s difficulty, a testament to Lucky’s passions.
It hasn’t all been smooth sailing, though. As most athletes have experienced, there are tough times as well as the highs. “It was at the Sky Marathon World Champs in Chamonix, France last year where I had a groin injury at 27km in a 42km race. I slowed down due to unfriendly weather conditions (raining), my body temperature dropped and moving forward was the toughest mission. I stopped at the last check point at 31km as I was in danger of hypothermia.” Facing life-threatening situations is no joke, but when you are competing at these levels it is par for the course.
In 2015 the plan is to “stay injury free and have a chance to train as I supposed to, then do well at the World Champs, defend my title at Num-Num Challenge, podium finish at Otter Trail and defend my title at the Lesotho Ultra. Also to do few races abroad especially the Sky Marathons Series in 2016.” It looks like a big year ahead!
Lucky is fortunate to have a solid support base. “Firstly the 110 percent support from my family (especially my lovely wife Mokgadi and 3 boys) is so incredible, they always play a huge role in my running career. K-Way SA is playing a huge part as the main sponsor in my trail running career most of my travelling and accommodation expenses are always covered, they are also contributing to help the youngsters in my community (Gallopers Athletic Club) with the expenses of getting them on the field of running. 32Gi fuelling me with the nutrition I needed both on training and racing. Saucony SA making sure I ran with the lighter and comfortable shoes at all times. Mio Global SA tracking my accurate heart rate and calories. There are individuals who are always there for me whenever I need help, Mark Struwig, Natalie Sanders, Andrew Dallas, Leslie Attwell, Jock Green, Johannes Mthimkulu and all of my friends for always following & supporting me with words of encouragement.”
Trail running has become an absoulte passion, and Lucky encourages more people to get involved. “It is an adventure you need to be prepared of anything at anytime, from being a very difficult route, terrible weather conditions, or bad injury that might occur to you.” says Lucky. “Don’t attempt any trail run especially the long races without the proper training. Always have the compulsory kit and nutrition with you, take extra care and enjoy the spectacular of the mother’s nature, with the overwhelming feeling afterwards!”