Golden Gerda seeks fifth victory in Dubai

Henry

South Africa’s Gerda Steyn is grinding her teeth for a fifth victory in the 10 km race in the Dubai Marathon which takes place on Sunday – and she is certainly also the hot favorite to walk away with the gold.

The Dubai Marathon’s 10km race is always the most popular in terms of entry numbers, but if anyone wants to take Steyn’s marathon crown, they’re going to have to run for it.

“I was very fortunate to be able to enjoy a wonderful 2023 with the three most notable days when I won the Two Oceans Marathon and the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, followed by a new national marathon record in Spain in December,” said the 33-year-old South African, who is based in Dubai, said.

Steyn improved her own South African marathon record from 2:25:28 to 2:24:03 last month when she was the 11th female athlete across the finish line in Valencia. In addition, she qualified for the Olympic Games.

She does start the new year with the shorter 10 km race in Dubai, but given her previous victories there, her participation in the shorter race is not exactly a surprise.

“I have run the 10km race in Dubai every year since 2018 and I have won it four times. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year than to take part in it once again.

“My goal is to win the 10km again and although I don’t run the full marathon, I still get the opportunity to be part of the iconic event.”

The Dubai Marathon is the starting point for what will be a busy year for the Adidas athlete.

In addition to her participation in the Comrades and Two Oceans marathons, South Africa’s fastest female marathon athlete will also represent the country at the Games in Paris. This will be Steyn’s second Games after she finished 15th in the marathon in Sapporo in 2021.

But first Dubai awaits – with the South African blitz that will want to tame the fast and flat roads of Umm Suqeim without further ado.