Gerda Steyn to challenge Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon record for R250 000 bonus
South Africa's running sweetheart Gerda Steyn will have two goals in mind when she lines up for Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon on Sunday in Cape Town - to defend the title she won in 2019 and break the course record. Earlier today the event's headline sponsor Totalsports announced mouthwatering incentives of R500 000 (R250 000 each) for any male or female runner that manages to set a new course record.
The current Men’s 56km record is 03:03.44 which was set by the legendary Thompson Magawana in 1988, while the Women’s mark of 03:30.36 and was run by Frith van der Merwe in 1989. Steyn, who recently joined sports apparel giant Adidas as a Brand Ambassador and has a new coach in Andrew Booyens, has welcomed the news that sponsors have decided to reward excellent performances with good money.
"This is good news that the sponsors have decided to put the incentives if the record is broken on Sunday" explained the 2019 Comrades Marathon Champion. "This is quite good for us as the runners because most of us were affected very much in the past two years. So to hear this good news is encouraging for me to put out strong performances on the day. I know this is going to be my first Ultra-Marathon since 2019 but I'm positive that things will go well."
Last year Steyn was in incredible form as she set a new SA Marathon record with a spectacular run of 2:25:28 achieved In Italy. The 32-year-old Dubai-based runner says it would feel good to break the course record.
"It would be nice to break the record because it has stood for too long. I'm sure Frith Van Der Merwe didn't imagine that it will last this long. If the weather conditions on the day are great plus the approach is executed well then I stand to break the record. This will be an inspiration to many South African to believe nothing is impossible in life. Besides defending my title on Sunday but it would feel nice to break the record," she said.