Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 146, Nov 2021 November 2021 | Page 11

KALMER ’ S CORNER kalmer ’ s corner by RENÉ KALMER
Our Modern Athlete Brand Ambassador ’ s Blog

KALMER ’ S CORNER kalmer ’ s corner by RENÉ KALMER

Hip , Hip , Hooray !

November is my favourite month of the year ! The Jacarandas are in full bloom and I love running on the purple carpet after the first spring rains , but there is plenty more reason for celebration .
32:10 . Cian Oldknow also set 14 new personal best times from 1500m to 21km in the past 12 months , and many of our athletes were category winners , whilst Kesa Moletsane finished in overall third position in the series .
In another highlight , Murray and Roberts Club Chairman , Ed Jardim – who coincidentally also celebrated his birthday in November – got his birthday gift a few weeks early when he smashed his marathon PB and clocked his first sub-3 marathon ( 2:54:49 ) at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon .
Images : Courtesy René Kalmer
Running on the purple carpet after the first spring rains

November is a month filled with celebrations in our house . I celebrated my birthday on the 3 rd of November , and I can ’ t believe I ’ m into my second year of running with veteran age tags . It was Andre ’ s birthday on the 13 th and I was wondering what race entry ( or running shoes ) I could get him as a surprise gift this year . I also can ’ t believe that our baby boy , Ivan , is turning one on the 23 rd , followed by our sixth wedding anniversary five days later on the 28 th .

On the 1 st of November , we also celebrated Murray & Roberts Running Club ’ s third birthday , and boy am I proud to say that we have truly painted the streets yellow over the past three years . The club has really gone from strength to strength , with highlights and achievements galore , including most recently , Team Black & Yellow winning the team competition at the 2021 Spar Grand Prix Series . It was also extremely exciting to see the “ new kids on the block ” stepping up onto the running scenes during this series .
Building on that , 20-year-old Tayla Kavanagh , the newly crowned SA 10km Champion , improved her 10km time by more than two minutes over four races and she is now fourth on the all-time list of SA performers over 10km with an impressive PB of
Fond Memories
Another special “ November memory ” for me is running my first sub-2:30 marathon 10 years ago at the Yokohama Women ’ s Marathon in Japan . I clocked a 2:29:59 , but a sub-2:30 is a sub-2:30 ! That was also long before carbon plated shoes were part of the running lingo , and I ’ m curious to know how much , if any , of a difference it would have made to my running times had they been available at the time .
GPS watches also started making their appearances on the running scene back then , and I still remember setting my stopwatch to “ beep ” every 3 minutes and 33 seconds , to indicate if I was on pace or not during the race . On the day , I paced my race perfectly and qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games marathon the
Another birthday , another year of veteran racing ahead
Just great to be racing again after the long COVID lockdown
following year with only one second to spare ! That was when I decided to make the final switch from track and field to road running .
Ready For More
Of course , November is also the month when we start hearing Boney-M songs in shopping malls as the build-up to Christmas begins . December is a time of celebration and holidays , but also a time to reflect on the year that has passed , and even now , it was great to see races slowly returning to the calendar as COVID restrictions and regulations were gradually relaxed .
So , now is the time to start thinking about those goals for the next year . Which races will you be focusing on ? What distances will you be focusing on ? Will you be aiming for a new PB , or are you looking to run longer races ? Are you thinking of adding trail-running or stage races to your plans ? Are you planning to run your 100th parkrun ? Or perhaps you are planning to make a comeback after a few years of not running at all ?
Whatever your reason may be ... I ’ ll see you on the road , and like me , I hope you ’ re looking forward to a great 2022 !
About the Author
René Kalmer is a two-time Olympian , having represented SA in the 1500m at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in the marathon at the 2012 London Games . She has also won more than 40 SA titles in track , road and cross country at youth , junior and senior level , in distances from 800m to the half marathon .