Free Stater wins 2018 Two Oceans Ultra Marathon

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Gerda Steyn during the 2017 Comrades Marathon where she came fourth in the woman's race PHOTO: SVEN MUSICA / WWW.GOMULTI.CO.ZA

The former University of the Free State Kovsies runner, Gerda Steyn, described it as one of the best moments of her life. This comes after she won the 2018 Two Oceans Ultra Marathon on Cape Town of Saturday.

The runner who originally hails from Bothaville in the Free State stopped the clock at 3:39:31 to win the woman’s’ race of the iconic 56km ultra.

The time was good enough to beat the Polish athlete, Dominika Stelmach (3:41:56) and South Africa’s Charne Bosman (3:45:20).

The 28-year-old Steyn, who ran in fourth during the 2017 Comrades Marathon in 6:45:45 only started running seriously some three years ago.

Following her win Steyn describe her victory in the Mother City as the dream come true.

“I really can’t describe how I feel, except that this is a dream come true. I woke up this morning not planning to win, but just to run my best and stick to my plan. To win today is such a special moment in my career.

“At the start I lost some time and I panicked a little bit. Then at 20km I was not feeling well at all. Thankfully I recovered from there and could then focus on the racing.

“Dominika was running really well, but coming down Chappies I could see her, and from then she was always in my sights. When I caught her we had a quick chat, and I congratulated her on a great run, and then I just put my head down. At that stage I told myself, “no looking back, just run straight to the finish.”

“The crowds were so good, shouting encouragement to me all day. When I ran onto the grass at the finish, the crowd was cheering, and the commentator was saying my name, I had goose-bumps to the max. That feeling is probably the highlight of my life”.

2018 Ultra Marathon Results:

Men: 1 Justin Kemboi Chesire (03:09:21) – Nedbank RC International (Kenya), 2 Lebenya Nkoka (03:10:29) – Nedbank RC International (Lesotho), 3 David Gatebe (03:11:12) – HOT running as Entsika Athletics Club.

Women: 1 Gerda Steyn (03:39:31) – Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North, 2 Dominika Stelmach (03:41:56) – Poland, 3 Charne Bosman (03:45:20) – Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North.

#OMTOM2018 Half Marathon Results:
Men: 1 David Manja (01:04:07) – Nedbank Development Club, 2 Namakoe Nkhasi (01:04:14) – Nedbank RC International (Lesotho), 3 Bernard Kipkemoi (01:04:17) – Nedbank RCC International (Kenya).

Women: 1 Nolene Conrad (01:16:17) – KPMG Running Club WP, 2 Betha Chikanga (01:16:42) – Maxed Elite International (Zimbabwe), 3 Susy Chemaimak (01:17:01) – Nedbank RC International (Kenya).

MORGAN PIEK