It was pretty much a solo run for Rene Kalmer as she took top honours in the Pietermaritzburg SPAR Women’s 10km today in a time of 34.13 on an icey winter’s morning in KZN’s Capital.
The field of 3800 participants braved the cold as the temperature plummeted to 2 degrees earlier this morning but had risen to about 5 degrees at the start of the race.
“This is the first time I have run this race in Pietermaritzburg, and I was happy with my performance. I felt very strong. The weather didn’t bother me – we are used to these temperatures in Johannesburg.” said Kalmer who sliced off 1 minute 11 seconds from last year’s winner Jenna Challenor’s time of 35.24.
Second and third place were owned by Nolene Conrad and Sithulisiwe Zhou both also running their debut Pietermaritzburg races.
Capetonian Nolene Conrad, who has been concentrating on her marathon running, sailed into the finish in second place in a time of 35.37. “I had a good race , but it was a bit of a difficult run with all the hills. My legs were really cold and only in the last three kilometres did I feel like I warmed up.”
Zimbabwean Sithulisiwe Zhou was over the moon with her third position in a time of 36.16. “It was fantastic.” she enthused, “I am training for the Mandela Marathon, so I am really pleased to have been able to run with such elite runners like Rene and Nolene .”
Going through the halfway mark, Kalmer looked at complete ease as she took the palm-lined avenue up the hill through Alexandra Park a good 20 seconds ahead of Conrad.
KZN’s Tanith Maxwell, running in and winning in her category (35-39), came in fourth.
“Once again there was a great spirit amongst the participants at this year’s race.” said Rob Philipson, MD SPAR KZN. “Despite the bitter cold, the mood was festive and fun-filled, clearly dispelling all myths about this being Sleepy Hollow.”
“We are encouraged that this race is growing in stature and we are attracting elite runners such as Rene, Nolene, Tanith and Sithulisiwe.” Philipson continued.
A sum of R10 200 raised from a percentage of the entry fees was donated to the race charity CHOC.
The next SPAR Women’s 10/5km in KZN will take place on Sunday August 24 in Durban and is part of the SPAR Grand Prix.
1 Rene Kalmer (Modern Athlete) 34.13, 2 Nolene Conrad (Boxer AC) 35.37, 3 Sithulisiwe Zhou (Phantane) 36.16, 4 Tanith Maxwell (Boxer AC) 36.43, Keneilwe Sesing (Nedbank) 37.13
1 Thabelo Tshishonga 1.25.47, 2 Tasmiyah Essack 1.33.11, 3 Kendra Visagie 1.48.04
1 Kaydie Gouws 1.46.49, 2 Kate-Lyn Gouws 1.47.52, 3 Milan Comley 1.50.06
15 – 19
1 Nontlantla Gcinia 40.34, 2 Mbali Mtshali 40.37, 3 Nomusa Xaba 42.41
35 – 39
1 Tanith Maxwell (Boxer AC) 36.43, 2 Nonsikelelo Mbambo (Natal Carbineers) 41.37, 3 Michelle Ellis 44.05
1 Suzette Botha (Eskom) 38.36, 2 Janene Carey (Boxer AC) 39.21, 3 Marilise Vermaak 43.52
1 Janine Engels (Westville Athletics) 44.23, 2 Jenny Taylor 54.27, 3 Trish Botton (Natal Carbineers) 1.00.09
1 Judith Grove (Hilton Harriers) 49.53, 2 Jane Dickson 50.24, 3 Sandra Fismer (Hilton Harriers) 50.36
1 Londeka Mweli 20.20, 2 Nombuso Ndamane 20.21, 3 Sinenhlanhla Zondi 20.33, 4 Fezeka Mchunu 20.47, 5 Sthandile Dladla 21.16