KZN rookie ninth in World ultra-marathon

2011-09-13 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL marathon runner Kerry Koen finished ninth in the prestigious International Association of Ultra-runners (IAU) World and European Championships, held in the Dutch city of Winschoten on Saturday.

Organisers of the IAU World and European Championships — now in its 25th year — said the 100-kilometre ultra-marathon attracted a record number of participants this year, with more than 230 athletes representing 35 countries.

Another South African runner, Lindsay van Aswegen, finished third in the marathon.

Koen, of Nedbank Running Club, said yesterday it was her first time to run the race and the first she has run that is longer than the Comrades.

“I approached the race like the Comrades … started slow, saved my energy for the finish.”

Koen said she assumed she would finish in the top 15 over the 10 laps of 10 km.

“I was over the moon to finish ninth”.

She said that she had not been fully fit for the race, but she did not want to miss out on the opportunity to represent South Africa in the ultra-marathon.

Will she do it again next year, she was asked.

Probably not, said Koen, because the ultra-marathon will be held in April next year, at a time close to the Comrades.

“But anything can happen,” she added.

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