Kalmer hot-foots it to national half-marathon title | SASCOC - SASCOC

Kalmer hot-foots it to national half-marathon title

Despite an elementary error two-time Olympian Rene Kalmer was still too experienced for the field at the national half-marathon championships in East London, writes Mark Etheridge.

Kalmer, at 32 the joint oldest athlete in the top 10 finishers, clocked a time of 75min 18sec for the 21.1 kilometre event.

Runner-up was SA marathon champion Cornelia Joubert in 75:46. Kalmer’s younger sister Christine was seventh in 78:03.

“I’m really grateful for defending my SA title successfully,” she told Road to Rio 2016. “It was a really tough course with the first 10km or so uphill and against a strong wind.”

That wasn’t the only uphill for Kalmer. “I made some rookie errors, like leaving one of my racing shoes in the hotel room. So then I was forced to run in my trainers and had to stop at the 9km mark to tie my shoe laces! So I guess it is back to basics for me now.

“Cornelia gave me a good run for my money and I only managed to pull away from her in the last 6km.”

Next up for Kalmer? “That will be the Great Scottish Run (10km), next weekend in Glasgow.”

Overall title went to another Olympian, Stephen Mokoka, who ran a 62:45 for the win, 22 seconds clear of Lusapho April. Third, after his history-making cross-country exploits recently, was Elroy Gelant in 63:45.