Top athletes in KZN’s ‘most prestigious’ race

2009-07-27 00:00

A FAST race in fine weather saw Rene Kalmer from Gauteng win the 2009 Spar/Sport and Recreation KwaZulu-Natal Women’s 10 km /5 km race in a speedy 32 minutes, and 27 seconds.

Making it look really easy, Kalmer walked away with R5 000 prize money with this win putting her at the top of the log in the Grand Prix standings.

Kalmer, from Mr Price, has been dominating the circuit for some years. She was delighted: “I am thrilled that I improved on my time. It was a fantastic race from the start in perfect conditions. I decided to do business today and went for it!”

She sang the praises of the Durban race, calling it the best and most prestigious race in the series.

Hot on her tail was Annerien van Schalkwyk in a time of 32:39. “I knew it would be a good race — it was a fast race from the start, the mood was great, the weather was good,” she said. Van Schalkwyk improved one minute on her personal best time.

Both van Schalkwyk and Kalmer are hoping to be selected for the SA Team for the world half marathon champs in Birmingham in October.

Coming in third was first KZN runner Tanith Maxwell representing Mr Price in a time of 34:01. This was Maxwell’s first Spar race this series and she surprised herself by achieving her personal 10 km race best.

Crowd favourite Poppy Mlambo, from Nedbank, came in fourth in 34:53 whilst Sonja Laxton, clocked in a time of 41:07, despite a bad fall at the start, breaking the grand masters record.

The race saw a field of 12 373 women competing.

The Sports and Recreation MEC, W.C. Thusi, applauded the race: “An exciting day was enjoyed by all. At Department of Sport and Recreation, it is a priority to promote women in sport and we are very excited to see so many girls and young women participating.”

The chosen charity this year was Jessica Foord’s foundation — Powar — who received a cheque to the value of R24 000.

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