Gerda Steyn completed the Two Oceans and Comrades Marathon double by winning the latter in a stunning record time on Sunday.
Steyn completed the course in just 5:58:55, the fourth fastest women’s Comrades time in history and the fastest up-run ever.
She looked in total control after enduring little difficulty coming up Polly Shorts. Steyn finished 17th overall ahead of the likes of down-run record-holder David Gatebe.
The record-breaker will take home R500,000 for the race win and another R500,000 for smashing Elena Nurgalieva’s up-run record by over ten minutes.
Steyn said after the run that breaking the record was not on her mind but claiming the Comrades title had been her focus for the entire year. Steyn even eased off during her Two Oceans run with the arduous Comrades looming on the horizon.
Enjoy the moment Steyn shattered the record for the Up Run in the most casual way.
Steyn was all smiles as she accepted the prizes at the finish at Scottsville racecourse in Pietermaritzburg.
Steyn and defending champion Ann Ashworth gave the women’s race a quick early pace that helped the former run the race in record time. Ashworth fell off the pace but the former advocate was able to finish ahead of her husband, winning a personal bet.
After her win at the Two Oceans there were questions about how much Steyn had left in the tank but her race was flawless.
Steyn now shifts her focus away from Ultra marathons in a bid to qualify for the Olympic marathon in Tokyo next year. The Olympic marathon is a standard marathon. The marathon is expected to be run in blistering heat, with the start moved to 06:00 to mitigate potentially dangerous temperatures. Steyn’s ultra experience could make her a real contender for the Olympic crown.