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Kalmer looks to wrap up Grand Prix title in style

By Mark Etheridge

Olympic marathoner Rene Kalmer is never a runner who could be accused of letting the grass grow under her feet!

After racing the Olympic Marathon for Team South Africa in London she returned to South Africa to clinch the SPAR Women’s 10km Grand Prix Title in Pretoria in August and she now has 110 points with just one race to go in the series.

That will be run in Randburg on Sunday and should she win that she’ll make history by being the first person to win all five SPAR races in the same year.

Kalmer only gets back to South Africa on Wednesday after racing to 16th spot in the World Half Marathon Championships in Bulgaria on Saturday.

She ran 73min 16sec on that occasion but wasn’t all that impressed with her display on the day. “I’m not too happy with my race. Satisfied with the position not with time and I think the 24 hours of traveling caught up with the team.

“We only got here Thursday evening at 7pm and I just felt uncomfortable throughout the race. The course was also terrible, running up and down a 2.5km stretch of road for 21.1km. There were also no kilometre boards, which made it very difficult to judge my pace.”

Kalmer is still undecided as to which standard marathon will be her next but will obviously now turn her attention to Sunday’s 10km

Up against her will be fellow Nedbank athlete and defending Grand Prix champion Irvette van Blerk.

Van Blerk was in London with Kalmer to run the Olympic marathon but failed to complete the 42.2km due to an Achilles injury.

She married Olympian LJ van Zyl in Bloemfontein last month and Sunday’s race will be an indicator of her running form.

And veteran Sonja Laxton,  a longstanding star of the South African road running scene, lines up for her 76th Spar Challenge race.


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