Two-time defending women's Two Oceans Marathon ultra-marathon champion, Gerda Steyn, confirms bid for Two Oceans hat-trick in 2021

Two-time defending women's Two Oceans Marathon ultra-marathon champion, Gerda Steyn, has confirmed her return to the race in 2021.

According to the official Two Oceans Marathon website, this will be no ordinary return as the current Two Oceans Marathon queen has left it in no doubt that her intention is to "defend her title".

In other words, one of the finest - male or female - long-distance athletes South Africa has produced is setting her sights on a hat-trick of Two Oceans Marathon wins come Easter Saturday, 3 April, 2021.

Steyn was of course gunning for a Two Oceans Marathon treble at what would have been the 51st edition of the race on 11 April, 2020.

Like so many sporting events scheduled to take place, the 2020 edition of the race had to be cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe.

Steyn potentially joins a super-elite list of runners.

Should Steyn be victorious once again in 2021, she’ll become the first athlete to win three titles in a row since Lesotho's Angelina Sephooa did so between 1997-1999.

Steyn would also join a small group who have won the Two Oceans Marathon three times or more.

First to win three titles was Beverley Malan in 1982, 1983 and 1985

Monica Drogemuller claimed the title in 1990, 1991 and 1992

Angelina Sephooa won in 1997, 1998 and 1999

The Nurgalieva twins, Olesya and Elena, claimed victory in 2008, 2010, and 2011; and 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2012, respectively

“I simply love this race,” said Steyn.

“I have to come back and try and make it number three in a row.”

Steyn almost causes women's Two Oceans Marathon ultra record to tumble in 2019.

Steyn won her first Two Oceans title in 2018 when she defeated Dominika Stelmach by just over two-and-a-half minutes.

Twelve months ago Steyn clinched victory by an astounding 10 minutes ahead of runner-up, Irvette van Zyl.

Her victory in 2019 was decidedly more emphatic.

posted Thursday April 16th
by Manfred Seidler