The 21st running of the iconic SkyRun presented by Salomon, proved to be every part of its hashtag description of one hell of a run! Local South African runner, Lucky Miya, proved he is up there with the best ultra runners by winning his first SkyRun in a very respectable time of 12hrs58min38sec, bettering his 2016 time by almost 40min. “SkyRun was my focus race for 2017, so I am so proud to have achieved my goal,” says Lucky. “This is only my second time running SkyRun and it was quite an experience running through the snow and different conditions today, but what an incredible day out!”
2nd place went to Nepalese runner, Sange Sherpa in a time of 13hrs56min20sec. “I ran a very good race, I enjoyed it a lot!” beamed Sange. “It was quite a technical race with the snow, and technical the whole route always following the GPS. I was in very good condition. At the 65km mark my GPS battery was dead and I was lucky to get a spare GPS so I could complete the 100kms. I am very lucky and happy to do this very unique race – I really liked it and I will definitely be back!” 3rd place went to 2016 race champion Christiaan Greyling in a time of 14hrs33min59sec. With snow storms and blizzards taking place just days before the race started, to a race encompassing all 4 seasons in one “short” event, this year’s runners definitely earned their medals today.
On the ladies front, having dominated the race and consistently been in the top 10 up to check point 7 (65km), 2016 winner, Nicolette Griffioen, unfortunately had to pull out of the race due to health issues, leaving the race open to a strong field of ladies. Taking first place was Tracey Campbell in a time of 19hrs26mins58secs. “I didn’t expect to win at all, I am so happy, so stoked!” exclaims Tracy. “I had a good run today, and I think you should have called it SnowRun today! It was amazing, was hip-height and insane. I think that actually played to my advantage, because it was quite technical and made the course quite tough. I’m so stoked, I loved it! And the weather was amazing, it was just an amazing day.” Second place went to Misty Weyers in 20hrs52min20secs, and 3rd place was claimed by Kate Swarbreck in a time of 21hrs54mins49secs.
“2017 has definitely been one of our most beautiful and varied years with our athletes running through all conditions – heat, cold, wind and snow!” says event organiser Mike de Haast from Pure Adventures. “The mountain showed her strength once again with none of our runners being able to break the sub12hour barrier, or letting a foreigner win overall 1st place. We have had an incredible field at this year and it is wonderful to see this iconic race continue to grow from strength to strength.”
The 65km SkyRun Lite route was won by South African trail runner, AJ Calitz, in a time of 9hrs07min13sec. Calitz suffered a severe stroke on the 16th of April this year, but has been making a good recovery and is slowly building his way back up to being the leader of his game. “To be honest I didn’t feel too great when we started the race this morning, but as the day went on I felt stronger and am really very happy with my results,” says AJ. “I am very glad I didn’t do the 100km route as I am definitely not ready mentally or physically for that distance yet, but this really is a day I will remember and savour.”
2nd place in the 65km route went to Frenchman, Cyril Cointre, in a time of 09hrs11min10sec. “This was a very tough, but incredibly impressive race,” says Cyril. “I have not raced anything like this in France, and am already looking forward to coming back to South Africa to run the 100km route.” 3rd place went to Brett van Coller in a time of 10hrs30min51sec.
The leading lady in the 65km route was Sofi Ackerman winning in a time of 12hrs44min16sec. “It was awesome to win – I didn’t expect it at all,” says Sofi. “It was a really tough race out there but I am super happy with my win.” 2nd place went to Do-Jo Jordaan in 12hrs54mins50sec and 3rd to Elani van Zyl in 12:54:55.
For more information about SkyRun and to see the full results please visit www.skyrun.co.za