Martin Lukes

Martin Lukes

Discipline: Endurance Running: Trail / Road Ultra / Rogaine / Adventure Racing

Replace is great for all the day to day training fluid replacement as it provides carbohydrate and electrolytes. Used with protein as a recovery drink, it will keep you in good condition for your next day’s efforts. It tastes great too!

I use Replace gels in racing, every 30 minutes from the gun, as a lightweight source of fast-acting energy.

I'm a fan of Protein 33 bars for super reliable and convenient fuel source that packs a punch to kick back hunger during longer sessions.

Horleys range of Protein Powders are brilliant - with slower burning protein increasingly recognised as a valuable nutrient for endurance athletes. I make up shakes during multi-day events like GodZone and carry zip lock bags of it during rogaines and long trail runs.

More about me

Marty has an impressive array of wins for various 100km, marathon and in-between distances. He enjoys competing as well as the benefits of keeping fit and active from regular training.


Tell us about yourself:

"I live with my wife and daughter here on Christchurch’s fantastic Port Hills. During the week I teach Physical Education at a Primary School. My passions include a range of activities that enable me to get out and about in our spectacular South Island landscapes. Training for competition is an end result from a personal, social and family lifestyle that derives great satisfaction from being physically active.

I have always been keen on endurance sport. I spent many years mountain climbing before discovering endurance running and associated events. I even biked 24 hours non stop when cycle touring at the age of 16! Today I love competing as well as the rewards of keeping fit and active. I find that meeting positive like-minded people is very motivating and am excited by the opportunities that the future provides."



  • Compete successfully over 100km on road and trail
  • Succeed in competitive endurance sport for next five years by representing Athletics New Zealand and setting personal bests 
  • Complete major overseas ultra runs
  • Enjoy the challenges that sport and competitive events present 
  • Encourage others to succeed with their own personal goals by assisting with mentoring and support 
  • Help clubs at a local level in Christchurch
  • Advocate for ultra running with Athletics New Zealand


Other Notes of Interest

I’m a big fan of longevity in training and racing. While endurance sport is highly rewarding I’m mindful about keeping other life goals and demands in perspective.

To fit things in I’ll commute to work on my bike, train with others for social and personal connections and fit training in early before family commitments take over. After hard racing I’m a big advocate for a decent recovery period. The mind and muscles may be ready to go but unless the endocrine system is recovered over training, general fatigue and injury can result.

Cross training is a great way to maintain and develop cardio fitness: biking and kayaking help strengthen the core and enhance balance. Consider walks, yoga, water sports and swimming.

Keep creative with your training: becoming too bogged down with the same routine can lead to the loss of fun for the why we get active in the first place. Do a route in the opposite direction, run a ridge that you’ve never done before… go off trail.

I’m increasingly grateful for having had, since my mid 20’s, over 20 years of demanding and enjoyable racing and competition; I’m excited to maintain physical fitness and a youthful mental attitude so that I can continue to be challenged in and enjoy our stunning landscapes. Bring on the next decade or two!

My biography

How did you get into your sport?

I grew up with active parents who used to take my sister and I on long walks in the English Lake District. Arriving in NZ as an 11 year old opened the door to multi day adventures in the local Tararua Ranges. The mountain adventures grew in scale as a Lincoln Student in the Southern Alps; technical mountaineering and back country ski touring developed stamina and awareness for our beautiful but harsh environment. In 1995 I discovered mountain running and the world of ultra-running. I became fascinated by the marathon and distances beyond that on the road and trails. Racing competitively enabled me to travel internationally to some wonderful events. I’m constantly mindful that we are so lucky to have a wonderful range of opportunities here in New Zealand. Challenge and adventure is right on our doorstep; whether organised by others or a self-created mission.


Approach to training and nutrition

Training for a successful ultra is based on various vital ingredients, including:

  1. Physical Ability
    • The body has to be physically strong enough to endure the goal. This applies for any event: from a 5 km Fun Run to 100 Mile Northburn. So a good training plan is important.
  2. Mental Strength
    • Developing and conditioning mental strength is just as important as your physical training. Training in different conditions and learning some good mental techniques will help on race day!
  3. Nutrition
    • Carbs, fat and protein are the building blocks with minerals and vitamins providing the “spark plugs". As one gets fitter burning fat becomes easier in longer sessions but to keep in good condition avoid treating yourself too much afterwards. I’m a big fan of loads of vegetables and eating as natural as possible; processed foods are convenient but can lack nutritional value. Convenience is important and the Horleys products solve that in our busy daily lives, while supporting a balanced nutrition plan that aims for a wide range of nutrients throughout the day.
  4. Preparation
    • Perfect preparation really helps the “on the day” performance. Small things like using anti chaffing through to checking that gear is well maintained can make massive differences to comfort or performance.

    • Rehearsing routines prior like stretching, strideouts and transitions means actions become automatic.

    • Being organized in advance saves hassles on the day. Pinning on race numbers, laying out clothing, sorting drink bottles can all be done the day before.

    • Consider the post-race too: clothing, nutrition and resetting goals for the next time.


Favourite Products

Sporting Achievements

Top Career Achievements - Placings

  • 5 times Winner: Buller Marathon (2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002)
  • 4 times 1st Place: 100mile races on NZ soil - Northburn, Naseby, (p.b. 15hr 30min) (2011-2015)
  • 3 times Winner: Kepler Challenge 67km off-road race in Fiordland ('07, '08, '09), 10 times Top 3 Finish (1997-2012)
  • 3 times 1st Place: Athletics New Zealand Championships (incl 7hr 08min Christchurch 2013)
  • 1st place: Ultramarathon, Australian Championships 100km
  • 1st and Podium places/Race records: off-road trail events around New Zealand e.g. Tararua Mountain Race, Abel Tasman Coastal Classic, Mt Holdsworth Mountain Run (1995-present)
  • Two 2nd places in Avalanche Peak Challenge
  • Podium places: elite rogaine teams around South Island (1996-present)

Other Career Achievements:

  • Various 100km road wins (1999-2013)
  • 13 marathons including placings in SBS Christchurch Marathon and New Balance Marathon in Queenstown (1996-present, p.b. 2:28)
  • Numerous placings in shorter distance cross country and road events running for the Sumner Club in Athletics Canterbury events
  • Race Record holder for Nelson Striders Lake Rotoiti “Loop the Lake” Off Road Race
  • Race Record holder for Nelson Striders “Captain Cooks Landing”
  • World Rogaine Championships, Alice Springs (2016)
  • Five Adventure Races (Eco Challenge, Southern Traverse, Adventure Race World Championships, GodZone) (2001-2017)
  • Five times Athletics New Zealand Representative 100 km Road, at World 100 km Championships / Commonwealth Championships (1999-2009)
  • Unsupported solo traverse Southern Alps: Farewell Spit to Fiordland South Coast; 70 days. (1994)
  • Numerous placings in team rogaines up to 24 hours



  • 3rd Buffalo Stampede 75 km Ultramarathon, Victoria
  • 2nd 40 – 49 Veteran Christchurch Marathon
  • 2nd 12 Hour Heights of Winter Rogaine


  • 24 hr NZ Rogaine Championships


  • 4th Kepler Challenge
  • 2nd Flagpole off-road
  • 1st Great Naseby Water Race 100 mile (15hr 30mins)
  • 1st Northburn 100 mile (race record)
  • 5th Moonlight off-road marathon
  • 2nd St James Ultra 50km


  • 1st Athletics New Zealand 100km Championships (7hr 8mins)
  • 1st Australian Ultrarunning Association 100km Championships
  • 3rd Tarawera 100km
  • 1st Bedrock 50


  • 1st Great Naseby Water Race 100km (race record)
  • 2nd Kepler Challenge
  • 1st Athletics New Zealand 100km Champs
  • 1st Northburn 100 Mile


  • 3rd Kepler Challenge, Fiordland, NZ
  • 2nd Motatapu Adventure Run
  • 1st Hanmer Half Marathon
  • 5th SBS Christchurch Marathon
  • 1st Athletics New Zealand 100km Champs


  • 1st Kepler Challenge, Fiordland, NZ
  • 7th Commonwealth 100km, Keswick, England


  • 1st Kepler Challenge, Fiordland, NZ
  • 1st MacPac St James Ultra Marathon, Lewis Pass, NZ


  • 1st Kepler Challenge, Fiordland, NZ
  • 6th World 100km Championships, Holland
  • SBS Christchurch Marathon, Top 3 placing and Personal Best time


  • World Challenge 100 km; Korea 8th (Athletics New Zealand)


  • World Cup 100 km; Japan 24th (Athletics New Zealand)


  • Canterbury 10,000m Champion


  • World Challenge 100 km; France 49th (Athletics New Zealand)


Adventure Racing


  • EPIC 12 hour Rogaine 1st
  • Southern Traverse (best 5th)


  • Southern Traverse


  • Eco Challenge New Zealand: 6th
  • Speight’s Coast to Coast Team 2nd


Non-competitive achievements

  • First person to walk unsupported from Cape Farewell to Fiordland down the Southern Alps 
  • Climbed over 30 mountains higher than 2000m in New Zealand


Biggest achievement so far and why:

2007: World 100 km Championships in Holland. A 6th place and 6 hr 46 minute performance behind Russian and Japanese athletes. Pure road running, maintaining pace on a physical red line with no mountains, rivers and wild South Island landscapes to ease the mental effort.

Best non-competitive achievement was a 22 hour mountain run from St Arnaud to Lewis Pass then biking 190km back to the car via the Rainbow Road. Great fun!

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