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Marathon trio fine-tune
- Updated: June 24, 2012
London Olympics-bound Rene Kalmer (Nedbank CGA) continued her outstanding performance in this year’s SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge when she won the Durban race in 33min 25sec on Sunday morning.
It was her third Challenge victory this year, and her third win in Durban since 2007. Rutendo Nyahora was second in 34.26, followed by the 2010 and 2011 SPAR Grand Prix winner, Irvette van Blerk, in 34.39. Kalmer’s sister Christine was hot on Van Blerk’s heels, with a time of 34.48.
Van Blerk is also part of Team South Africa for the London Olympics, as is Durban local Tanith Maxwell who ended ninth on Sunday.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿ Kalmer, who also represented SA at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing,┬á looked comfortable throughout the race and was never under any pressure.
She started pulling away at three kilometres, with the distance between her and the rest of the field growing with every kilometre covered.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿ÔÇ£I found the route quite tough,ÔÇØ said Kalmer. ÔÇ£I had hoped to beat last year’s winning time of 32.50, but those last five kilometres were hard going. It was uphill all the way and I struggled a bit.
ÔÇ£Last year, I had to pull out at about three kilometres with ITB problems, so I was very happy to come back with a positive attitude this year. I’m very happy with the win.ÔÇØ
Van Blerk was disappointed with her effort. ÔÇ£I didn’t have a great race,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£It just wasn’t my day. I think my focus has changed ÔÇô I’m training for the Olympic Marathon and that has affected my racing. Marathon training is very different and mentally it’s quite tough. Next year I can concentrate on the 10km races again.ÔÇØ
Van Blerk and Kalmer will both be running the Olympic Marathon on August 5. Maxwell finished ninth in 35.42 minutes, to win the sub-veteran category.ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿Kalmer, who recently won a half marathon in Japan, said the SPAR races helped her with her Olympic Games preparations. ÔÇ£There is always a SPAR race to prepare for throughout the year, and that has helped me to focus.ÔÇØ
She said she and the other marathon runners would go into a period of intense training for the next few weeks, before easing off for a week or so before the race.
1. Rene Kalmer (Nedbank CGA) 33.25
2. Rutendo Nyahora (Nedbank CGA) 34.26
3. Irvette van Blerk (Nedbank CGA) 34.39
4. Christine Kalmer (Nedbank CGA) 34.48
5. Portia Ngwenya (Transnet) 34.55
6. Zintle Xiniwe (Mr Price) 35.23
7. Thabisa Sirayi 35.35
8. Poppy Mlambo (Bidvest CGA) 35.40
9.Tanith Maxwell (Boxer) 35.42
10. Tabitha Tsatsa (Mr Price) 35.51