Rene to defend title | SASCOC - SASCOC

Rene to defend title

By Mark Etheridge

Fresh from her 17th senior South African track title in Port Elizabeth on Friday, Rene Kalmer comes to Cape Town to defend her SPAR Women’s Challenge Grand Prix Series 10-kilometre road race title on Sunday.

The popular road race will be run at a new venue this year, moving from Bellville to Green Point, and more than 20,000 women are expected to line up for the race.

The overall SPAR Grand Prix title has gone to Kalmer on two occasions and she’ll be buoyed by her 5000m win in Port Elizabeth on Friday. She’s won a staggering 32 national titles duirng a glittering career.

Last year she won the Cape Town leg of the series for a fifth consecutive time and has won it eight times in all. Last year she clocked a winning time of 33min 07sec.

She’ll be joined on the start line by 5000m runner-up in PE, Irvette van Blerk, who was the overall winner of last year’s Grand Prix series. She’ll be running the race in preparation for the London Marathon next weekend where she’s hoping to qualify for the London Olympics later this year.

Kalmer has already qualified for the Olympics in the marathon distance and like training partner and pal Van Blerk, she’ll be in London next week, but in a pace-making role as Britain’s top marathon women go in search of qualfiying times.

Also vying for top position on Sunday will be Zintle Xiniwe (Nedbank WP), third in the Cape Town race last year, and Rutendo Nyahora, who placed second behind Kalmer.