It was announced today that three-time Totalsports Two Oceans Ultra Marathon winner, Gerda Steyn, has joined the KZN-based Phantane Athletics Club. Steyn, will be running in the club colours of Phantane for all of her races on South African soil in coming months, including the 2023 Totalsports Two Oceans Ultra Marathon on Saturday 15 April.
In 2022, Steyn broke Frith van der Merwe’s longstanding Two Oceans course record (3:30:36, set in 1989) when she clocked 3:29:42 for the 56km ultra as she won her third consecutive title in the event. She also won in 2018, clocking 3:39:31, and scored a repeat win in 2019 with a 3:31:28 finish, less than a minute outside the then course record. (The race did not take place in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID pandemic).
Steyn therefore currently has three wins, placing her joint second on the all-time list of Two Oceans winners alongside fellow three-time women’s winners Bev Malan (1982, 1983, 1985), Angelina Sephooa (1997, 1998, 1999) and Olesya Nurgalieva (2008, 2010, 2011), as well as men’s winners Siphiwe Gqele (1983, 1984, 1985) and Marko Mambo (2004, 2005, 2008).
Only two athletes have won the race four times, and both are women: Monica Drögemöller (1988, 1990, 1991, 1992) and Elena Nurgalieva (2004, 2005, 2009, 2012). If Steyn wins again in 2023, she will join them on four wins, but will also become the first athlete to post four consecutive wins in the event, and she will become the first athlete to win a fourth title while also being the course record-holder.
When asked about her decision to join the Phantane club, Steyn said, “It is such an honour to represent Phantane Athletics Club. The club prides itself on the development of athletes and to be part of the club feels incredible.”
On behalf of the club, the Club Manager, Mdu Khumalo, said that Gerda joining the club is a huge milestone for Phantane: “It is a privilege to have an elite runner like Gerda running in our colours.”
Totalsports, as sponsor of Phantane Athletics Club as well as title sponsor of the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon, welcomes Gerda to the team and looks forward to watching her in action this coming year.