South African skyrunning champ Lucky Miya finished in a solid 32nd position overall in the 2016 Skyrunning World Championships in Spain last weekend, placing him in the top 7% of an extremely stacked field of top skyrunners from around the globe.
The BUFF® Epic Trail Aigüestortes Skymarathon® in the Vall de Boi in the Spanish Pyrenees was this year’s selected race for the Skyrunning World Champs, providing 42km of suitably technical playground with 3,200m of vertical gain to test the skills, strength and endurance of the runners. Of the 452 starters, 335 were male and 41 were female.
Norway’s Stian Angemund clinched the race win in 3:56:47, followed by the UK’s Tom Owens (4:01:59) and Spanish Ismail Razga in third (4:05:56).
Proudly sponsored by K-Way and Cape Union Mart, Miya finished in 4:45:02, in 30th position in the men’s race.
In the women’s race, Maite Maiora of Spain took gold (4:42:15), Azara Garcia, also of Spain, took silver (4:44:04), and Italian Elisa Desco secured bronze (4:46:43).
Miya said the course was extremely tough, and was steeper and more technical than he had expected.
“With the average altitude during the race being higher than 2 000m, and with well over 3 000m of vertical gain over the 42km, this was the most difficult race I’ve ever run. My legs felt heavy from the start, but I didn’t allow that to affect my mind – I was determined to push on, hoping the legs would ease up. The final climb of the route was in the second half, and was the toughest section – a very steep, tight zig-zagging single track over 5km.”
Miya added that crossing the finish after such a tough challenge, knowing that thousands of South Africans were rooting him across the miles, made his finish a proud moment.