JOHANNESBURG – A smiling Gerda Steyn said “she can’t believe” that she has become the first woman to break through the six-hour Comrades Marathon barrier.
The 29-year-old Steyn became the first woman since Frith van der Merwe in 1989 to win the Comrades and Two Oceans titles in the same year when she won in a new up run record time of 5hr 58min 53sec yesterday.
Steyn chopped more than 10 minutes off Russian athlete Elena Nurgalieva’s up run record of 6:09:23 she set in 2006. She finished 17th overall finishing ahead of 2016 men’s Comrades winner David Gatebe, who clocked 6:00.16.
“I can’t believe this happened today, I feel just very blessed for a great race today,” Steyn said. “This year, I sort of didn’t plan and decided to go with my ability, and over the first half, I tried to take it in.
“When I got to halfway, I was looking at my watch, and I knew I was on a course record, so I knew my race would start now. I gave it my all, and I left it all on the road.”