Steyn Makes History & Obliterates Up Run Record!

No other elite female runner could match the talent and pace of South African Athlete Gerda Steyn at the 2019 Comrades Marathon.

Penny Trevena |

Gerda Steyn was the favourite to win at this year’s Comrades Marathon and she did not disappoint when she completely smashed Russian runner Elena Nurgalieva’s long-standing 2006 Up Run record of 06:09:23, winning the 86.83km race in an incredible time of 05:58:53.

She is the first lady in history to run the Comrades Up Run in under six hours! This is the fourth fastest Comrades of all time, and she finished 17th overall.

Steyn once again proved that a back-to-back Two Oceans Ultra and Comrades win is possible, last achieved by Caroline Wöstmann back in 2015.

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“I feel so blessed standing here, I can’t believe my dream came true today! I had incredible strength that I don’t know where it came from.” said a jubilant Steyn after her race.

“Working as a team, and following advice from my coaches made a recipe for success today! Comrades is in my heart and my soul, and it’s a part of who I am!”

1991 Comrades winner and Gerda Steyn’s coach Nick Bester said happily, “We didn’t try to break the record, we went for it!”

“I am in awe, I don’t even feel my legs right now I’m in such a high! I’m so grateful for a great race. Last year went well, but I learnt a hard lesson by strictly following my plan. This year I tried to enjoy my race!” Steyn said at the post-race press conference.

The 29-year old ran an extraordinary run, and held the lead from early on when she overtook Ann Ashworth around the 30km mark and managed to keep it while looking strong, comfortable and happy.

Second-place finisher, Alexandra Morozova, who was placed second in 2017 and third in 2018 held onto third position until Polly Shortts where she overtook Irish runner Caitriona Jennings and ran her way to the finish in 06:17:40. She was 18 minutes and 47 seconds behind powerhouse Gerda Steyn.

Rounding off the podium was Caitriona Jennings who finished her race in 06:24:12. The 2018 Comrades Winner Ann Ashworth finished in fourth position in 06:27:15.

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