Cape Town – Gerda Steyn and Stephen Mokoka are the South African favorites for the Cape Town Marathon, but they will face serious competition from a few international athletes tomorrow.
More than 9,000 runners will line up for the 6:15 a.m. start in front of Cape Town Stadium at Green Point, and while Mokoka holds the record of two hours, eight minutes and 31 seconds (2: 08.31), this will be the first standard marathon. from Steyn to South Africa.
Of course, she knows Cape Town well, having won the 56km Dual Oceans Marathon in 2018 and 2019, while her personal best in the 42.2km distance is 2: 25.28 in an event in Siena, Italy, earlier this year, which is also the South African Record.
Steyn, 31, put in a determined performance at the Tokyo Olympics a few months ago, finishing 15th in difficult and wet conditions in 2: 32.10.
She has been training hard in Gauteng in recent weeks, posting regular updates on social media, but now she’s excited to get into tomorrow’s race, which doubles as the South African Marathon Championships.
âHello Cape Town !! Let’s settle this once and for allâ¦ Cape Town is THE PLACE TO BE !!!! Steyn said on Instagram this week.
âThe job is done, the legs are resting, so let’s get the show on the road .. and with show, I mean @ctmarathon of course !!! Africa’s only @worldathletics (Gold) label marathon, and the headquarters of the @asa_athletics_south_africa marathon championships is going to be !!
âWho’s excited for RACE WEEK ?? !! I know we are at least 10,000 looking forward to !! I will have ALL covid tests in the world if that means we can run @CTMarathon !!! Good luck to everyone who runs !!! â
Some hilarious facial expressions spotted before entering the exhibition hehe! ![CDATA]> ð ![CDATA]> ð¤£![CDATA]> ð![CDATA]> ð¬ # this is2021
But tbh, I’ll have ALL the covid tests in the world if that means we can run @CTMarathon !!! ![CDATA]> ð¥³ pic.twitter.com/6bhISg3415
– Gerda Steyn (@gerdarun) October 14, 2021
Steyn isn’t the fastest woman on the court, however. Kenyan Lucy Karimi clocked a time of 2: 24.24 to finish third in the Geneva marathon in May, despite not being in the Olympic marathon peloton – where her compatriots, Peres Jepchirchir and Bridget Kosgei, won respectively the gold and silver medals.
Namibian Beata Naigambo is another title contender, with a personal best 2: 26.57, while Ethiopia’s Nurit Shimels finished second in the 2019 Cape Town Marathon with a personal best 2: 27.40.
On the men’s side, Mokoka will look to put the disappointment of the Tokyo Olympics behind him. The 36-year-old rider was in the lead group at one stage, but struggled through the harsh weather conditions and stopped around 35 km away.
But cool and rainy conditions are expected in Cape Town tomorrow, so he will try to go even faster than the race record of 2: 08.31 he set in 2018.
Mokoka’s South African brand is 2: 07.40, produced in Shanghai in 2015, making him the fastest in the field, and he’s been roaming the streets of Pretoria getting into great shape in recent weeks.
âAny day that I’m able to lift my legs this high during a marathon is a good dayâ¦â he posted on his Facebook page. âThe interval repeats itself on the track. The legs might not like it anymore, but it’s important to save that turnaround for the marathon. “
Mokoka’s main challengers will be Ethiopia’s Belachew Amato, who has a personal best 2: 07.55, and Kenyan Aperumoi Joseph Kachapi (2: 08.26).