Gerda Steyn has set her sights on the final two events in the FNB Run Your City Series, the 4th annual FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN (Tuesday 24 September 2019 / National Heritage Day) and 3rd annual FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN (Sunday 13 October 2019).
“When I was asked to run the New York Marathon again this year, I immediately put the two FNB Races on my schedule,” said inspirational champion, Gerda Steyn from her training base, Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise in the South East of France.
Steyn has had a phenomenal two years of racing, winning the Two Oceans Marathon twice, second in 2018 Comrades with a win in 2019 smashing the women’s up run record and a marathon PB in New York.
“I will be racing a 10km in Middlesborough, England, this weekend to see where my fitness is. I will come back here (Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise) for two weeks before heading back to South Africa for the FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN. I will then stay in South Africa, with a short visit to Lesotho, before heading off to New York. I have had an incredible year.
“My training is going really well, and I am gunning for a PB in NY. So, the FNB Durban 10K CITYSURFRUN will be my final fitness test. That is why I want a PB there.”
Steyn took a minute off her previous PB in the 10km in Durban last year when she finished 5th overall, clocking 33:36. The target was a sub 34 for Steyn, which would have improved her previous best time of 34:35 by just over 30seconds. By taking a minute off of her Personal Best, Steyn had moved into new ground.
“I know the course is fast and that the race is fast (in Durban). I will go out fast like I did in 2018 and then try to hang as best I can. Isn’t that how you run a 10km?” Steyn went on to say.
The then 28-year-old surprised all and sundry when she finished second in the FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN in September 2018. It is a tough course with some tough climbs. Clearly this played into the hands of Steyn. But she has no expectations for the race in 2019, other than to run it hard.
“It is a tough course. It is at altitude. So, it’s not about time for me there, it is about how the body handles the punishment. I will do a sharpening up period of about two weeks for the Joburg and Durban races. I always do that before any race.”
Steyn has high expectations for the second half of 2019 after the incredible first six months. “Had you asked me in the beginning of the year if I expected to have had such a great 2019, I would have been surprised. I knew that I was in better shape than in 2018. All the training showed that but such improvements. No. I did not expect that.”
“This has me really excited for the rest of the year. In New York the target is a sub 2:30. And if I run my 10km PB in Durban, then I know I will hit my target in New York. So, I am really excited about racing in both the FNB races.
Photo 1 Caption: Gerda Steyn in action at the FNB Run Your City Series in 2018 where this year she will look to smash a record in the 10km SURFCITYRUN. Photo: Jetline Action Photo
With editing by gsport