Port Elizabeth – Rene Kalmer (Nedbank CGA) described her victory in the Spar Women’s 10km Challenge at King’s Beach on Saturday as a “miracle”, after nearly pulling out of the race because of an injury.
Kalmer cruised to victory over Zintle Xiniwe (Mr Price WP) and her team-mate Irvette van Blerk to cement her position at the top of the Challenge Grand Prix log.
“I injured my hamstring on Wednesday, dicing with my sister (Christine Kalmer) on the hills,” said Kalmer.
“I was in a lot of pain, and nearly withdrew from the race. Even at the start, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to finish.”
Kalmer appeared to show no ill-effects from the hamstring injury or from her heroics in the London Marathon two weeks ago, where she ran as a pacemaker to help two British athletes to record qualifying times for the Olympic Games in July.
She went into the lead from about the two-kilometre mark, and although Xiniwe stuck to her like a burr for the next four kilometres, Kalmer never appeared to be in any danger of being overtaken.
With four kilometres to go along the beachfront, she steadily increased her lead and cantered home in 33.30 minutes, 31 seconds ahead of Xiniwe. Van Blerk finished in 34.15, 14 seconds behind Xiniwe.
“I just tried to run my own race, and stick