Comrades Marathon and Two Oceans Marathon champion Gerda Steyn has described her victory in the Nelson Mandela Remembrance race in Pretoria yesterday as “amazing”.
“My victory today here was amazing, yes I am champion of the Mandela Race. I really loved the race, the spirit was very jovial and everyone was happy. In the race people were good, everybody was happy,” said Steyn.
Thousands of runners braved the rainy weather to run the race that was organised by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to honour his legacy.
“I enjoyed today’s weather. It was gloomy, perfect for running. I cannot complain about the rain,” said the Comrades Queen who added that she enjoyed running the race without the pressure of using it as preparation for any future event.
Steyn is looking forward to the December break so that she can recuperate following an eventful and successful year during which she won the both the country’s major ultras – Two Oceans and Comrades – and smashed the latter’s Up Run record.
“I had a fantastic year that was the highlight of my career. Obviously the Comrades victory was my biggest highlight. It was my best year of my running career think,” said Steyn who also ran a PB – 2:27 – at the New York Marathon to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“But I am now going to go home and rest and wait for the new year.
“I will probably have my first race either late January or in February next year.”
Steyn beat her competitors by flying home in a pretty fast time of 75:26 to beat her Nedbank Running Club teammate Irvette Van Zyl, while Kate Murray took third spot.
In the men’s race, Collen Mulaudzi was the victor in 66:10 to beat Sibusiso Nzima and Lucky Mohale.
Despite the wet and gloomy weather conditions, 20 000 runners from all walks of life as well as different fitness levels attended the event which also had a 10km race plus a 5km fun walk.