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Kalmer makes it look easy

Rene Kalmer won the Spar Women’s 10km Challenge Series in Port Elizabeth for the eighth time when she triumphed in the coastal city on Saturday.

The London 2012 hopeful clocked 33 min 53sec, in beating Irvette van Blerk (34:07), with Nandipha Dywili (34:44) third. A record 9 520 runners took part. ÔÇ£It was quite a tough race today,ÔÇØ said Kalmer.

ÔÇ£I felt quite tired. I wanted to go for the record, but although I was on course at 5km, then we ran into the wind, and I just couldn’t do it. ÔÇ£I have had difficulty training the past few weeks. My immune system has been down. I suppose these things happen. But I’m delighted that this is my 20th Spar win. I’ve won the PE race eight times now, so it really is my favourite race. I love the PE race┬á… it’s South Africa’s most beautiful race. The route is good and it is along the coast with fantastic scenery.ÔÇØ

Kalmer said she would travel to Europe to qualify for the 1 500m and 5 000m events, and then return home to prepare for the African Championships in Kenya. ÔÇ£I hope to run in the Durban Challenge. It’s on the Sunday of the African championships. I run on Friday, and if I can get a flight, I’ll get back in time for the Durban race.

The relatively unknown Dywili, who finished third, also won the Junior category. ÔÇ£This is my last race as a junior, so I am very happy to have come third,ÔÇØ she enthused.

ÔÇ£I’m originally from Butterworth in Transkei, and have only been running for three years. I’m now at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria, where I have training facilities and a coach. That helps a lot, because before I was running on my own, and I used to get quite scared, but I feel safe running. ÔÇ£This was my second Challenge race. My first was in Cape Town, where I came fourth.ÔÇØ


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