Occupation: Sales Manager
Quote to Live by: “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”
When people hear the name Lucky Miya, they quite understandably think of two things: trail running and K-Way. Affectionately known in the running world not only for his speed, but his grit and determination to take on the toughest challenges, this king of trail always wears a winning smile!
Living in Boksburg, but born near Qwa-Qwa in the eastern Free State, Lucky’s favourite sport at school was soccer. He was crazy about it, practising his ball skills with his buddies at any opportunity. “I wasn’t very good though, and when it came to game time, I would usually find myself relegated to the bench.”
On a friend’s advice, he gave athletics a try, and to his surprise, he not only loved it but showed a natural talent. Running became his passion – he joined his local running club, and was soon chasing his personal bests for a range of distances on track, for cross country and in road races. During those years he achieved his PB for 10km (29:41), for the half-marathon distance (64:47), and for 42.2km (2:16:41).
One of the races on the road running calendar was the Harrismith Mountain Run, South Africa’s oldest off-road event. It was one of Lucky’s favourites – being off-road it was tougher than even the hilliest road races, and Lucky found he thrived on the challenge of steep climbs. When he was 22, he won the race.
In 2008, the Wildrunner Summer and Winter Trail Series came to Gauteng, and Lucky’s joy for running ramped up a notch. Until then, the nearest thing to trail he’d experienced was off-road – here was his chance to try the real stuff.
“That first year I won both the Summer and Winter Trail Series, and that’s what really got me hooked on trail running.”
With three top 6 placings at the Otter Trail Run, and wins at the Two Oceans Trail Run, the 50km Lesotho Ultra Skymarathon (breaking the record on two occasions), the Num-Num Trail, Ingeli Skymarathon, SOX 3-day stage race, and the 4 Peaks Challenge, to name a few, Lucky is well known to the podium. He has represented South African Skyrunning twice at the skyrunning world championships – in the Mont Blanc Marathon in Chamonix, France in 2014, and at the BUFF® Epic Trail Aigüestortes Skymarathon® in the Spanish Pyrenees in 2016. He has also competed for South Africa at two WMRA Long Distance Mountain Running Championships – the first at the Pikes Peak 21km ascent in Colorado in 2014, and the other at the Zermatt Marathon in Switzerland in 2015.
Lucky has an incredible 6h23 Comrades, and a blistering 3h24 Two Oceans Ultra. But of all his achievements so far, the race Lucky is most proud of is his win at Skyrun 100km in 2017.
“It was my second time racing Skyrun. In 2016 I achieved 2nd place, which made me very excited. I trained even harder and used my experience of the route to tackle the race again in 2017. I was so happy to take the win!”
Lucky bettered his 2016 time by 34 minutes, winning the race in an astonishing 12h56.
“Having the unflinching support of K-Way has enabled me to follow my dream of maximising my potential, continuously striving to be the best runner I can be,” believes Lucky.
Ever the example of dedication, Lucky is as focused a family man as he is a runner. He and his wife Mokgadi, who he describes as the love of his life, have three sons – Tebogo (17), Tshepo (12) and Sifiso (6), all of whom are already showing running talent. Any spare time after family, training and his job as an internal sales consultant at a fasteners company, Lucky devotes to encouraging and developing young running talent in his community as co-founder of the Gallopers Athletics Club in Mapleton, Phumula.