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Rene races to fourth win

Rene Kalmer of the Nedbank Central Gauteng club led from start to finish in the fine running conditions as she made it four wins in four years and seven overall at the Western Cape leg of the Spar Women’s Challenge 10km series, which started at the Bellville Stadium.

The event saw a record combined field of 16 520 entries in the 10km and 5km races, which was considerably up on the 10 200 entries of last year.

Kalmer crossed the line in 33min 25sec. Second home was Tanith Maxwell of the Boxer Stores club in KwaZulu-Natal in 34:03, with former Capetonian Thozama April third in 34:42, now running in the colours of Transet Gauteng North. Nandipha Dywili of the Tuks club in Pretoria was fourth overall and first junior home, while local runner Zintle Xiniwe of the Mr Price club rounded out the top five.

Kalmer immediately shot away from the pack to clock the first kilometre in 3:03, a pace that would have seen her finish in 30:30 and take 43 seconds off Elana Meyer’s national record for 10km!

Unsurprisingly, she slowed in the second kilometre, running a 3:45 split, which allowed Maxwell to close the gap. They stuck together until the 5km mark, reached in 17:09, but then Kalmer steadily pulled clear on the tough uphill section along Charl Cronje Drive, up to the turnpoint at Willowbridge Mall, and the race was won.

After the race, Kalmer explained that the firing of the gun took the runners by surprise. ÔÇ£We were still dancing to the music when it went off and I got a bit of a flying start with the surprise, but I expected the rest to catch me up again. Luckily Tanith caught me and we ran together for a while, but at 5km I broke clear again and went for the win.ÔÇØ

Kalmer has been in blistering form this year, having recently set three national records in indoor track events in Europe, as well as setting a new course record for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon just two weeks before this latest win.ÔÇØ

The Western Cape race is once again the first leg of the national series of Spar Women’s Challenge races, with four further races in Port Elizabeth, Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg to follow between May and October. These races also form the Spar Grand Prix, which is the only competition of its kind in South African road running and allows outstanding female runners to score points through the series, to be eligible for cash prizes and other rewards.

Prizes will be awarded to the top 10 finishers on the points table after the final race in Johannesburg, with the winner of the open category taking home R60 000 and the winners of the junior (19 and under), veteran (40-49), master (50-59) and grandmaster (60 and up) categories each taking home R6000. The total prize money comes to R170 000.

Results:

1. Rene Kalmer (Nedbank CG) 33:25
2. Tanith Maxwell (Boxer) 34:03
3. Thozama April (Transnet) 34:42
4. Nandipha Dywili (Tuks) 35:01
5. Zintle Xiniwe (Mr Price WP) 35:11
6. Ronel Thomas (Boxer) 35:12
7. Mpho Mabuza (Nedbank CG) 35:46
8. Irvette van Blerk (Nedbak CG) 35:55
9. Mareliise Retief (Nedbank GN) 35:59
10. Dominique Scott (Adidas) 36:08

40-49 Age Group:
1. Tessa Burrell (Gauteng Striders) 37:30
2. Michelle Bartman (Harfield) 37:52
3. Elmarie Coetzee (Adidas) 39:22

50-59 Age Group:
1. Olga Howard (Celtic) 41:23
2. Charmaine Cupido (Nedbank WP) 44:01
3. Nancy Will (Pinelands) 44:28

60+ Age Group:
1. Sonja Laxton (RAC) 43:51
2. Marietha Herbert (Bellville) 47:50

15-19 Age Group:
1. Nandipha Dywili (Tuks) 35:01
2. Dominique Scott (Adidas) 36:08
3. Asiphe Sikabalanjana (RSC Gugulethu) 37:43


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