Gerda Steyn has once again proven herself as one of the greatest long-distance runners ever by winning the Women’s Two Oceans marathon for the fourth consecutive time. Her impressive victory saw her finish the race in 3 hours, 29 minutes, and 6 seconds, placing her 12 minutes ahead of her nearest competitor. This performance earned her first prize of R500 000, a new record incentive, and the use of a KIA car for twelve months.
Steyn’s background as a qualified quantity surveyor came in handy when she calculated in her head while running, which is an impressive tool to have in her toolkit of skills. Her performance at the Two Oceans Ultra-marathon has cemented her position as one of the greatest long-distance runners ever. Steyn’s impressive win is a testament to her unwavering dedication and commitment to the sport.
The Rise of Givemore Mudzinganyama
Zimbabwe-born Givemore Mudzinganyama has emerged victorious in the Two Oceans 56km Marathon, marking the first time he has won the event. Mudzinganyama’s win resulted from good planning, great timing, and superb execution. He had to shake off charismatic Nedbank athlete Dan Matshailwe in the final quarter of the climb to Constantia Nek and surge past Maxed Elite race leader Lesotho’s Lebello Mopenyane on the approach to Kirstenbosch.
Mudzinganyama’s journey from a trail athlete to a full-time professional athlete is remarkable. He had previously dabbled in the Two Oceans, having run to 12th position in the 2015 Half Marathon and having earned an impressive runners-up medal behind Kane Reilly in the 2018 Long Trail race. However, training with Coach Hendrick Ramaala’s running group at Zoo Lake made a big difference and prepared him well for the marathon.
A Fantastic Day for South African Long-Distance Running
Gerda Steyn and Givemore Mudzinganyama delivered impressive performances, showcasing the high level of endurance and skill South African athletes can achieve on a global stage. In addition, this year’s race saw the first time in the Two Oceans history that an Ethiopian quartet of Amelwork Bosho, Yeshiemebet Nguse, Tinebeb Ali, and Ashakech Yami posted four Two Oceans golds from Ethiopia.
Last year’s runner-up Nkosikhona Mhlakwana also finally found his race legs and was flying through the field, setting up a thrilling finish for the second successive year. In the end, Mudzinganyama raced home to win just 23 seconds ahead of Matshailwe, with Mhlakwana 21 seconds back in third. The first two across the line were Two Oceans Ultra-marathon debutants, with Mudzinganyama racing further than he has ever done.
It was a fantastic day for South African long-distance running, with Gerda Steyn and Givemore Mudzinganyama delivering outstanding performances. Their achievements are a testament to the skill and endurance South African athletes can achieve on a global stage. Furthermore, their victories have cemented their position as legends in long-distance running.