About the Author: Gerda Steyn is the 2019 Comrades Marathon champion in a sub-six time of 5:58:53, a true South African wonder women on the road.
My career as an athlete has been short as I only started running in 2014, but every year since I started running has just gotten all the more exciting!
In 2018 I wondered how I would be able to top the experiences I had, but 2019 once again exceeded my expectations. It was a once in a lifetime experience winning South Africa’s beloved Comrades Marathon and that day changed my life forever! So looking at 2020, I once again asked myself how on earth I would be able to top an experience like that? But one of the greatest things about running is the fact that the same simple act of running can take many shapes. Every start line (or finish line) has its unique characteristics and therefore I don’t necessarily have to compare them!
I started this year with the aspirations of becoming an Olympian after qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Marathon. This is still one of my biggest dreams but with the uncertainty around races across the world due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak I truly think that as an athlete, it’s important to be flexible in 2020. It’s not always easy to prepare for something which is likely to be postponed but I try to focus on the bigger picture. The reason for race cancellations are purely to protect ourselves and this is more important than a single race.
I am fortunate enough to be able to compete in various distances and terrain so I have decided not to see this in a negative light, but rather to accept the challenge of being flexible and expecting the unexpected!
It has been a fantastic first three months of the year, competing in two shorter distance races as well as a fantastic training camp in the high Maluti Mountains of Lesotho. I am equally excited for what lies ahead this year.
Whatever life throughs at us, we runners will always find a way to keep running and appreciating what we have! Let’s make 2020 a year to remember – no matter what shape it takes!!