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Kalmer to debut in Marathon in Prague

Rene Kalmer makes marathon debut

Rene Kalmer makes marathon debut

Rene Kalmer makes marathon debut

You know you have arrived in top-flight international athletics, when an International Marathon, which is part of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race Series, invites you to be part of the lineup. A top 10 finish at an IAAF Gold Label Road Race is automatic entry in the London 2012 Olympic Games Marathon, providing the Olympic Federation of your country accepts that entry. Rene Kalmer has been invited to race in the 2011 Volkswagen Prague Marathon on Sunday 8 May.“I’m very excited. This will really be my first marathon. I did run the Soweto Marathon in 2009, but only as a training run. So whilst I know the statisticians will see that as my debut, for me the real debut is Sunday.” When quizzed about her expectations, Kalmer said she was hoping for a top 5. “This is the first marathon I have trained for and I am in good shape. So I am hoping for a top 5.”

Kalmer is under no illusions about her competition though. “ There is Lydia Cheromei of Kenya, a World Champion at age 13 and still running at 34. She is the new record holder of the Hervis Prague Half Marathon this year and is hoping to break the record in the Volkswagen Marathon as well, given good weather conditions on race day. The there is Olga Glok (RUS), who was the winner of the Volkswagen Prague Marathon in 2009 when she ran her PB of 2:28:27, and Yeshimebet Tadesse of Ethiopia who ran 2:27:45   at the Standard Chartered Marathon in Dubai last year. So it will be tough, but it is exactly what I need.”

Kalmer has won 30 national titles on the road, over cross-country and on the track since 1996 and has started to eye the marathon as her next big challenge. Her preparations have certainly been meticulous. After winning the national 5000m title in Durban on 8 April at the Yellow Pages SA Senior Track and Field Championships in her second best ever time, Rene flew to Cape Town the same afternoon to race in the Spar 10km ladies race the following day. Not only did she win the race, she did it with her third best ever time over 10km. Leading up to the national championships and the 10km race, Kalmer clocked 53.48 for 15km in Alberton on 13 March and was South Africa’s best finisher at the World Cross Country Championships on 20 March (she finished 31st).

Kalmer shot to “fame” in 1997 when she won 6 official SA Titles and one unofficial title. Still a Junior she won the U17 SA 1500m title, U17 SA 4km Cross Country Title and the Junior 10km Title. What really caught the eye though, was that she repeated those feats at Senior level, beating the likes of Gwen Griffiths (van Lingen) in the 1500m, taking the SA Senior Cross Country Title (6km) and the SA Senior 10km road title. Those are the official SA Titles for 1997. The unofficial title was that of SA 5km Champion. The hugely successful Old Mutual Victory races were dubbed the unofficial SA 5km Championships, and Kalmer also bagged that.

Her CV certainly does make for interesting reading:
1996    u.17    1500                                              4:31.58
1996    u.17    XC (4 km)                                      15:22
1997    u.17    1500                                              4:29.66
1997    u.17    XC (4 km)                                      14:24
1997    senior    1500                                           4:16.02
1997    senior    XC (6 km)                                    20:41
1997    senior & junior    10 km                             34:31
1998    junior    1500                                           4:20.76
1998    junior    3000                                           9:36.38
1999    junior    10 km                                          34:23
2000   senior*    5000                                           16:20.29
2001   1500                                                          4:08.94
2001   5000                                                          16:13.98
2002   1500                                                          4:13.72
2002    XC (4 km)                                                 10:39
2003    800                                                           2:03.63
2003    1500                                                         4:11.24
2004    1500                                                         4:17.37
2004    5000                                                         16:17.32
2004    XC (4 km)                                                 14:07
2007    1500                                                         4:14.75
2007    5000                                                         15:35.00
2007    10 km                                                       32:28
2008    1500                                                         4:22.86
2008    5000                                                         15:55.72
2009    10 km                                                       32:39
2010    1500                                                         4:08.61
2010    5000                                                         15:51.32
2011    5000                                                        15:42.21

Total: 30

The Prague Marathon is the next step in a career that has spanned 15 years. When one considers that the great Paula Radcliffe’s 800m and 1500m times are similar to those of Kalmer, and that she set those phenomenal 5000m and 10 000m after she started running marathons, it opens the door of possibilities for Kalmer.


  1. David Coetzee says

    Rubbish Rene Won the Soweto Marathon in 2009 in a time of 2hr44min06. Which was also a race record.

    This was not her debut!!!!!!

    • zaadmin says

      correct, however she has stated that to her the Prague Marathon is her debut, as she didn’t train specifically for the Soweto marathon.

      So we are aware of the ‘facts’ that it was not her debut in truth

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