Quality women's field adds excitement to CitySurfRun

FILE IMAGE: Gerda Steyn became the third South African woman this century to win the Two Oceans Marathon.
FILE IMAGE: Gerda Steyn became the third South African woman this century to win the Two Oceans Marathon.
Image: FACEBOOK VIA GERDE STEYN

The women's race at the FNB Durban 10K CitySurfRun on Sunday is shaping up to be arguably the most fiercely contested in the three years of the event.

Already confirmed are the defending champion Stella Chesang and the world's fastest for 2019 and second- fastest ever, Sheila Chepkirui. On the South African front, in-form Glenrose Xaba, the darling of South African road running, Gerda Steyn and new Zimbabwe record holder Fortunate Chidzivo have already been confirmed.

Now last year's third-place finisher, Irvette van Zyl and Kenya's Beatrice Mutai have been added to the line-up. For Van Zyl, 2019 has not been the easiest year. For years she has struggled to identify an injury that forced her to walk on her long runs.

"After copious amounts of tests, we finally figured out that my left iliac artery was trapped by a ligament. My leg would just go numb when I ran really hard or long. In races I ran through it, but in training it was a different story," said the 32-year-old.

Van Zyl is already showing signs of getting back to her best. On August 18, six weeks after surgery, she was back on the roads, finishing seventh in the ladies race in Pietermaritzburg, clocking 34:21 on a course that wasn't the easiest.

"I am looking forward to returning to Durban. I am, of course, not in the same kind of shape as I was in 2018 but I am optimistic that I will give a good showing," she said.

She clocked a personal best last year and came desperately close to breaking 32 minutes. 

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