14 August 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Comrades Marathon
Gerda Steyn
Gerda Steyn, winner of both the Two Oceans and Comrades ultramarathons in 2019.

Former Kovsie, Gerda Steyn, winner of the 2019 Two Oceans and Comrades ultramarathons, is excited to be part of a new era of female athletes in South Africa. She shares some personal insights:

What are some of your early childhood lessons?

“I learned early in my life that you have to work hard to be successful, it doesn’t just happen by itself. Also, there will be difficult days, so appreciate the good days and never take anything for granted.”

What inspires you? 

“Getting the most I can out of my body and seeing how close I can get to competing with the best athletes in the world.”

What does a future South Africa look like for you as a woman? 

“Women (especially in sport) are on the rise; we are experiencing a new era of female athletes in South Africa, and it is very exciting to be a part of it. We have many talented women here and developing these talents should be the number one priority if we want to have more success stories in the future. Sport brings hope and South Africa needs this more than ever.”

Tell us something about you that no one knows? 

“I have never been to a hospital for any reason other than visiting someone (and for my birth).”

What does success mean to you? 

“Success to me means not giving up until you reach your own targets, regardless of others’ goals or ideas. It means making the impossible a reality, and breaking barriers that positively impacts your life and the lives of others.”

What is the most important lesson you have learned and who is your mentor? 

“I learned that you always have to keep on going and that there will always be an excuse not to show up; but if you really want something, you need to give 110%! 

My mentor and coach is Nick Bester, manager of Nedbank Running Club and winner of the Comrades Marathon in 1992.”

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