Ultra-distance star Gerda Steyn delivered another superb performance on Sunday, hanging on in tough conditions to take seventh place in the elite women’s race at the London Marathon.
Despite losing some pace in the latter stages, on wet roads through the English capital, Steyn stormed through the field to cross the line in 2:26:51.
The reigning Comrades and Two Oceans ultra-marathon champion sliced 57 seconds off her personal best over the standard 42.2km distance.
She was just 16 seconds outside Colleen de Reuck’s 24-year-old national record, climbing to second place in the all-time South African marathon rankings and providing further evidence that she will ultimately crack the mark. It seems only a matter of time.
Meanwhile, up front, Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei retained the women’s title, producing a brilliant solo run to claim a fourth career win at the prestigious race.
Kosgei clocked 2:18:58, crossing the line ahead of American Sarah Hall, who set a personal best of 2:22.01.
Kenya’s world champion Ruth Chepngetich rounded out the podium, just four seconds adrift of Hall.
Originally due to be run in April, the London Marathon was rescheduled to October because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rather than the usual mazy run around the streets of the British capital, the course this time around featured 19 loops around St James Park, with the iconic Buckingham Palace framing the finish line.
“It’s wonderful to race, but we have not prepared well due to the pandemic. I struggled up to the moment I finished,” Kosgei, the world record holder, told BBC.
“I will be well prepared for good results next year.”
The elite men’s race was set to start later on Sunday morning.
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