What’ does an average week in the life of Luke look like?
School Monday to Friday in year 12, so currently completing HSC. Up early mostly all mornings training throughout the week; runs that are targeting hills, stairs as well as FARTLEK and intervals. Training also consists of two strength sessions and a long trial run on Saturday. Sunday is a rest day for me, and can involve working at my local health food/acai bowl café (Bare Naked Bowls) or otherwise spending time with friends surfing, eating and hanging.
What sports have you been into through school?
Running; cross-country being the main but also track, basketball and touch football
How’d you get into trail running? When and where was first trail race?
My journey began when I joined the weekly PACE Manly running club, to which here I met a number of people whom had a strong passion for the trails. This sparked a light in me, to which I began browsing YouTube watching the journeys of a number of elite trail runners; from the South African Ryan Sandes to the more local Lucy Bartholomew. From here I jumped on Facebook found a local trail group called the Trailblazers and joined in on one of their Sunday runs. It was here that the single trails and bushland created my passion for trail running. After a number of runs on some local trails I entered my first race “Sydney Trail Series 10km” and was completely stoked to come away with 1st. From here, it pushed me to want to explore the trail and races that come along even more
What motivates or drives you in the sport?
The enjoyment I get from exploring trails particularly when embarking on new ones is a strong motive. It pushes me to want to train harder, better and more efficient so that I can continue to tackle more challenging and longer trails and yet gain the beauty that this world has on offer.
Greatest challenge or hurdle for you? How have you managed / overcome?
At age nine I was diagnosed with type one diabetes. In many aspects it has been challenging to manage alongside my sporting endeavours; with it being a constant 24/7 thing, from the counting of carbohydrates, managing hyperglycaemic and hypoglycaemic episodes, and more. Throughout my running, I have come to the realisation that not all things diabetes can be monitored and sometimes you just have to go with the flow. And yes, it can be frustrating at points but I found running as an outlet to vent emotions, whilst also the exercise side of it being a way to help maintain constant glucose levels. It was a steep learning curve to manage, but after many years of running It has become second nature, and yes there are times where I’m needing to have loads of sugar prior to comp or competing when my levels are high but it has developed resilience within me and for me, I feel like this can be transcended into the aspects of trail when I’m needing to have to dig deep to carry on physically.
Any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
Big bowl of spaghetti bolognese for dinner and a good roll on the foam roller.
Any favourite race as yet and if so and why?
Haven’t competed yet in the UTA 11 but through doing training runs on the course it is by far the best trail I have done and will with out a doubt make for a wicked race. From the waterfalls to cliffs in the blue mountains and being below the three sisters it just doesn’t get any better. As well as that the wildlife; birds and animals is just amazing.
Any favourite post race or training indulgences?
Avocado Toast or Acai Bowl is my go to for food
Still early days for you but do you any particular races, goals or objectives over the medium to longer term?
Races that I aim to enter one day; Six Foot Track Marathon, Mount Solitary Ultra and Buffalo Stampede. Goals for this year: make it to national cross country. Objectives medium/long term: rise to the podium on 1 or more major public trail races
If you could invite 3 people to dinner, dead or alive, who would it be?
Courtney Atkinson, Ryan Sandes and Lucy Bartholomew