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BETWEEN CASTLES & VINEYARDS - Interview with Matt Healy

One of trail’s rising stars, Matt Healy has gone from strength to strength in the trail running scene over the past few years, with consistent achievements both in SA and abroad.

His most recent success was a 2nd place finish at Trail Alsace Grand Est by UTMB in May. He shares his French race experience with us.

I’m a professional trail runner who specialises in the ultra distances, from about 100km to 100 miles, and I’m currently just focusing on races in the UTMB World Series.

To take a few steps back, I started trail running in 2017 when I returned to Cape Town after playing rugby at the Sharks Academy.

I was then about 20kg heavier, at around 80kg. Back in Cape Town, I got more and more interested in nature and being out in the mountains. And that’s when the trail bug bit. I entered my first race in 2017, but I was still trying to stay in the gym and keep some muscle mass – but the two don’t really go together.

In 2019 I decided I wanted to take trail running seriously. I got myself a coach, then Brandon Lombard, and started running competitively. I had a really successful year locally before covid hit, but I did what I could during lockdown and kept training hard.

In 2021 I was offered the opportunity to become an Asics athlete. That was a stand-out year for me. I won the Addo Elephant Trail Run 100 miler and broke the South African course

record. Now I’m working with coach James Montgomery (The Run Project) targeting the UTMB World Series and really enjoying the success I’m having there. My running career has been an incredible life-changing experience.

Read the full story in the summer edition of RUN Mag or download the digimag here


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