Johannesburg South Africa - Victory in the SPAR Women’s Challenge in Pretoria has ensured that Rene Kalmer has clinched her third Grand Prix title, but the Olympian insists that she has more to do.
Rene Kalmer crosses the finish line of the Pretoria SPAR Women’s Challenge run at Supersport Park, Centurion on Saturday 25 August.
Picture by: Reg Caldecott
Rene Kalmer in action during the Pretoria leg of the SPAR Women’s Challenge
Picture by: Craig Nieuwenhuizen/Beeld
Kalmer won the Pretoria race in a record time, and now has 110 points – almost double those of her nearest rival, Portia Ngwenya, who has 56. Olympic Games marathon runner Kalmer has won every Challenge race this year, three of them in record time, and although she has the Grand Prix title in the bag, says she is determined to win the final race, in Johannesburg on October 14, as well.
The prize for the Grand Prix this year is a brand new Nissan Micra, and Kalmer is over the moon at having won a car. “Years ago, I was in a race where the first prize was a car, and ever since then, it’s been my ambition to win a car,” she said. “Now I have achieved that dream and I’m so excited. I’m thrilled to have won the Grand Prix again, but I am determined to win the last race, in Johannesburg on October 14, because no-one has ever won all five races. So I still have a lot to do in Johannesburg.”
While Kalmer has the title sewn up, the race for second and third place is wide open. Kalmer’s sister, Christine, is hot on Ngwenya’s heels, with 55 points, and defending champion Irvette van Blerk is in fourth place, with 54. Van Blerk, who won the Grand Prix title in 2010 and 2011, had to withdraw from the Pretoria race because of injury.
Sonja Laxton, with 25 points from three races, cannot be beaten in the Grandmasters (over 60) category, and Grace de Oliveira appears to have a lock on the Masters (50-59) category.
There is a fierce tussle for points in the Veterans (40-49) category between Janene Carey and Ronel Thomas. Thomas has 24 points and Carey 23, so the Johannesburg race could determine the outcome of the title.
In the Junior category, Annie Bothma, with 13 points, has a slight lead over Tabisa Sirayi and Olivia Labuschagne, who have 10 points each. Kalmer and Van Blerk’s club, Nedbank CGA, with 228 points, has an overwhelming lead over Bidvest CGA (98) and Boxer (97) in the club competition.
SPAR Grand Prix Standings after four races:
Open: 1 Rene Kalmer (Nedbank CGA) 110; 2 Portia Ngwenya (Transnet) 56; 3 Christine Kalmer (Nedbank CGA) 55; 4 Irvette van Blerk (Nedbank CGA) 54; 5 Zintle Xiniwe (Mr Price WP) 51
Veteran: 1 Ronel Thomas (Boxer 24); 2 Janene Carey (Boxer) 23; 3 Belinda Hickman-Mosdell (HQH) 5
Master: 1 Grace de Oliveira (Boxer) 25; 2 Olga Howard (Celtics) 10; 3 Annetjie Botes (Nedbank SWD) 8
Grandmaster: Sonja Laxton (RAC) 25; 2 Lien Botha (RFL) 10; 3 Veronica van Niekerk (Elgin/Grabouw) 9
Junior: Annie Bothma (Helderberg) 13; 2 Tabisa Sirayi (LAC) Olivia Labuschagne (New Balance) 10