Kalmer, now the fourth fastest in SA history, puts marathon team in contention for 2012 Olympics

2011-11-23 00:00

RENÉ Kalmer became the country’s fastest female marathoner of recent years when she finished fifth in the Yokohama Marathon in 2:29:59, breaking her personal best by over four minutes in 24-degree hot and humid conditions in Japan.

This makes her the fourth fastest South African woman of all time, behind Colleen de Reuck, Elana Meyer and Frith van der Merwe.

Although Meyer has a 2:25.00 minute time this was run in Boston which is considered an aided course and therefore not acceptable as a record.

Kalmer’s ability over the short distances makes it clear that she is capable of further improvement, given the humidity during the race.

The Nedbank athlete’s pacing was almost ideal with a slow start that saw her pass half way in 1:14.28 then move through the field over the last quarter of the race.

She was the third fastest runner over the final 2,2 km split of the race.

Kalmer’s focus on track, cross country and road results in the past years have prompted her successful transition to the marathon, although there must be some concern that she has run four such races this year, and her agent has hinted she may want another before the end of the year. The world’s top marathoners have succeeded more due to restraint in the longer distance.

Although the 2012 Olympic does not have a formal team competition, Kalmer, local Boxer runner, Tanith Maxwell and Anneriene van Schalkwyk now have the potential of putting SA amongst the top five teams in London.

ASA board elections

ASA held their elections for board members last weekend. Pieter Lourens from Boland was elected as the new chair of Track and Field, while Shireen Noble of South West Districts, James Moloi of Central Gauteng, and James Mokoka of Gauteng North were added to the board.

With the exception of Noble, these candidates have all been on the Board during the reign of the deposed Leonard Chuene.

In KZN the request from 105 clubs for a Special General Meeting was delivered to the provincial office this past week. The clubs sole agenda point, who are currently working by the constitution, is the removal of the ASA executive. It seems likely that further action will be taken if no meeting is announced in the next few days.

2012 Comrades and Two Oceans

With one week remaining over 16 000 entries have been received for the 2012 Comrades marathon, which means there are less than 2 000 places remaining.

This is the 87th running of the famous race, which will start in Pietermaritzburg on June 3. Entries are capped at 18 000 and are available on www.comrades.com.

The entries for the Old Mutual Two Oceans half Marathon closed last week having reached the 16 000 limit in a record eight days.

This morning there were a further 21 entries put up for auction for charity and more details are available on www.twooceansmarathon.org.za. There are still just over 9 000 entries remaining for the 56 km Ultra marathon, which is also on April 7. Entries for the two trail races only open in January.

The Sani Stagger

The annual Sani Stagger will see runners negotiate the highest pass in South Africa this weekend.

The Stagger commences at 6 am on Saturday morning with the up and down marathon from the Sani pass hotel.

This has to be the toughest of the comrades and Two Oceans qualifiers in the province, but it is also one of the most scenic and inspiring courses in South Africa and one that should be on every runner and walkers bucket list.

The half marathon down run, which starts at 9 am also offers a rare opportunity to sit on ‘top of the world’ when it starts from the Lesotho border and descends to the finish on the hotel golf course.

Entries for this very special event are limited and anyone looking for a last minute place will need to contact Trish Crawley this week. There are no entries on the day. Trish can be contacted for more information on 083 447 0766.

The Stella Tribute 15km race originally scheduled for Sunday has been cancelled.

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