Helen Lucre was born on 9th October 1955, in Motueka, Nelson, New Zealand. Lucre attended Nelson College for Girls and Motueka High School in New Zealand. In 1980 Lucre immigrated to Pretoria, South Africa.
Helen started participating in road running in the 1980’s. The following year, she began competing in standard marathons as a qualifier for the Comrades Marathon. She competed in her first marathon in 1981.
In 1984, she relocated to Durban; beginning the 1984 athletics season by breaking the record for the Hillcrest Marathon. Lucre was the first woman to break the 4 hour mark in the Korkie 56. In 1985 Lucre won the first of her three consecutive Comrades Marathons. During her running career Lucre participated in the World Cup Marathon and a few Eiken (a relay over 42 km) races in Hong Kong and Japan.
Helen managed South African athletic teams to France and Korea. In the early 1990’s Helen played a significant role in starting the ladies 10 km race (now the Spar 10 km). She held positions on the KZN Athletics, Comrades Board of trustees and ASA Athletes committees. Lucre also participated in the unification of South African athletics. Lucre currently manages her own business, Helen Lucre Recruiting.