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by Michelle Carnegie
18 June 2019

It’s been a little more than a week since South Africa’s golden girl of ultra-distance running Gerda Steyn smashed the Comrades Marathon record in a sensational 5:58:53. Gerda chatted to Run24 about her “10 firsts” as she crossed the finish line of her dream race.

Q: First thought as you crossed that finish line? 
So, this is what it feels like to be a Comrades winner! 
Q: First person you hugged at the finish line and first words you spoke?
Nick Bester (Gerda’s coach, mentor and National Manager of the Nedbank Running Club). Nick then said: ‘Aren’t you going to cry with me?’ And then I did! 
Q: First words you and Duncan (Gerda’s pilot fiancé) spoke at the finish line?
He said: ‘Flip, you did it! You won Comrades!’ And then I said: no, WE did it!
Q: First person you phoned after the race?
I missed the call from my sister and then phoned her back after some time. I also phoned my parents to hear if they wanted to join the celebrations with the team later that evening. 
Q: First thing your mom and sister said after you won?
My mom was speechless, and my sis said: ‘You little biscuit!’ 

Q: First thing you ate after the race?
I had to wait quite some time before getting anything to eat. After prize giving, I went to the VIP area and ate all the sandwiches. I haven’t stopped eating since!
Q: First thing you did the next morning you woke up?
Pinched myself.
Q: First thing you would like to do with your winnings?
I would love to buy all my supporters a round of drinks!
Q: First run/exercise since Comrades?
Two days after Comrades I went for an easy walk on the beach front. I haven’t attempted a run yet since last Sunday.
Q: First race planned post Comrades?
I am planning to do a Vertical race in August. It is called the K2 Vertical Kilometre and it is and uphill 8km race with 2000m of ascent. I did this race last year as well.
Q: LAST thoughts you have every night since winning your dream race?
Agggggh that finish line just keep going through my head every night! I just feel so grateful and blessed.

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