Nedbank running club’s Gerda Steyn set the South African running scene alight over the past 2 years from making history in the Comrades Marathon to narrowly missing out on the long-standing South African marathon record. Already one race into 2021, Steyn looks forward to the year.
On a warm and humid day in Dubai, Steyn finished 2nd over 5km in the SuperSports race series. “What a great feeling to start the new year with a race,” Steyn said afterwards. Her time of 16:25 was not a PB, but with a new training program just started, Steyn already finds herself in good form.
“I’ve just started Nick Bester’s new program this week. Over the festive season I was in the mountains, so I kept training but also had some time to relax and do other types of training such as snow shoeing which was really fun!”
For the race, Steyn felt relaxed throughout as she uses it towards her next race which she will soon be announcing in the next week. “I was very comfortable in the race and my aim is to get used to this type of pace so that I can hold it and maintain for a half marathon.”
In the midst of a pandemic and with the Olympic Games having been postponed last year to this year, Steyn kept motivated by adding variety, and it certainly worked, with yet another Olympic qualifying time and narrowly missing the South African record over the marathon last year in October at the special elite only London Marathon.
“I have been staying fit and keeping my training interesting by also doing a lot more of it together with friends as opposed to on my own in as was in the past. The fact that I did manage to aim for and compete in races last year really helped as well and I’m very confident that even this year I will have many opportunities even though they may be limited.”
With the Olympic Games the pinnacle of any elite athlete’s dreams and goals, Steyn is looking forward to the games hopefully taking place this year. “Right now, that is my biggest motivation. Every day I get out of bed and head out to train, the Olympic Games is on my mind and drives me.”
Being guided by Bester, who is also the National team manager of the Nedbank running club, the training has taken Steyn to new heights with no signs of slowing down. Only starting running 5 years ago, the limits to Steyn have certainly not been seen yet and South African’s can look forward to our always smiling golden girl shining bright in 2021.