Rene on how her Olympic marathon debut went off | SASCOC - SASCOC

Rene on how her Olympic marathon debut went off

By Mark Etheridge
in London

She may have exited the finish area in a wheelchair but Rene Kalmer was on a roll after her debut Olympic Games Marathon on Sunday.

Kalmer ended 35th in a time of 2hr 30min 51sec to be first of the SA trio home. Tanith Maxwell ended 81st in 2:40:27 while Kalmer’s training partner, Irvette van Blerk, was forced to pull out before 17km with Achillles tendon problems.

Kalmer, 31, expressed her happiness at her performance. “Ja, I’m happy. I actually had a great race considering that I’ve had a few niggles with a plantar fasciitis problem and it gave me a few problems on the cobbles and in the tight twisty sections.

“But this was my first Olympic marathon and it’s my second quickest time so I have to be happy.”

Her personal best is the 2:29:59 she ran in Yokohama, Japan last year.

“The only thing is I would have maybe liked to finish a bit higher up in the placings, Ideally I would have loved a top 20 finish,” she told Road to London 2012 as she relaxed with parents Christo and Eloise, sister Christine and friends from back home in Roodepoort.

“I got stronger near the end an actually felt I ran best from 39km to the end.” It took its toll though as she failed to clear the mixed zone at the finish area. “They took me off in a wheelchair to recuperate a bit,” she grinned.

What’s her next marathon? “Oh no, that I just don’t know, maybe I must just go back to the track,”she joked.

Said proud mom Eloise: “It was so great to watch her run her in London. We were a very proud family. I can’t believe how fast these girls all run. Even after Rene came through I was thinking to myself how fast everyone in this race was!”