Irvette Van Zyl and Gerda Steyn set for big match-up in Two Oceans Marathon

Irvette Van Zyl and Gerda Steyn set for big match-up in Two Oceans Marathon

Prominent South African marathon duo Irvette Van Zyl and Gerda Steyn will be gunning for the big prize in Saturday's much-anticipated Two Oceans Ultra-Marathon.

The pressing question resonating among running enthusiasts is whether van Zyl can thwart Steyn's bid for an impressive fifth title in Cape Town. 

The winner of the men’s and women’s races will pocket R250 000 each along with the bragging rights over a field of 11 000 runners set to line up at Newlands Cricket Ground tomorrow.

On paper, Steyn appears poised to claim another triumph to solidify her dominance on the local road running circuit, having clinched the Two Oceans and the Comrades double last year, while more impressively setting records in both races.

Van Zyl, who was absent from last year’s event due to an ankle injury, was involved in an entertaining tussle with Steyn two years ago and returns with unwavering determination to dethrone the reigning domestic ultra-marathon queen.

“I’m geared up to make my comeback at the Two Oceans marathon and strive for victory in a race I’ve yearned to conquer for ages," the reigning Soweto Marathon champion told SABC Sport.

"With our preparations on track, we’re poised to give it everything we’ve got. My focus is squarely on clinching the ultra-marathon title this year, and I’m leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of that goal. 

"As I head to Cape Town, I echo my determination to race my race and emerge triumphant."

In November last year, Van Zyl clinched her fourth Soweto Marathon title and started the 2024 season triumphantly with her ninth Dis-Chem half-marathon title before also conquering the Pirates half-marathon.

Representing the Hollywood Athletics Club, she opted out of the Spar Women’s 10km Cape Town leg last month to concentrate her efforts on preparing for this Two Oceans.

Meanwhile, Steyn clinched victory in the Om Die Dam 50km ultra-marathon last month, as she now looks to defend her Cape crown once more.

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