2022 Mar 02



Athletics Media

Gqeberha, Eastern Cape
Athletics Media
2022 Mar 02

SA long distance sensation Irvette van Zyl is determined to set a new world 50km ultra-marathon world record again.

The three-time Soweto marathon winner and a mother of two boys, smashed the women’s 50km, taking three minutes off Briton Aly Dixon's time, stopping the clock at 3:04:23 last year.

She is eager to make up for her disappointment of failing to complete the Olympic Games marathon due to injury in Tokyo, Japan last year.

This is that time of the year again when top elite runners will line up the streets of Gqeberha, Eastern Cape looking to break the world record.

All eyes will be on the two-time Olympian as she sets out on winning the Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km race at the Nelson Mandela Bay on Sunday at 7am.

She wants to run an even faster time and said she is praying for great weather with no rain to achieve her goal.

“I feel healthy and prepared well to run the race, but I know that it will not be easy. I am a little bit nervous but ready to give it a go, and I am in a better condition than a year ago,” said a hopeful Van Zyl.

“It is too soon (ahead of the 50km) to say whether I will run this race or that one but I will do the Spar Ladies. After the 50km run, however, I will sit down with my team and decide which races I will do.”

She pointed out that she is determined to make history and defend her title to set the tone for the rest of the year. Alexandra Morozova of Russia, Amelework Bosho and Almaz Erba of Ethiopia, and Kenyan Lucy Lesempe will give Van Zyl a run for her money.

Last year, she received R100 000 for crossing the finishing line first and a further whopping R150 000 for breaking the world record. Her Nedbank teammate, Ketema Negasa of Ethiopia, won the men’s race.

The race returns bigger and better. There is a new prize money of R280 000 for winning the race in a new world record. It is open to the 35 to 65 age groups in both the men's and women's races.

The race will not exceed 200 runners and all the Covid-19 protocols will be adhered to.