Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 151 June 2022 | Page 36

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

Bags Packed !

One of the things I missed most the past two years was travelling around our beautiful country to run races , but as you can see from my diary , I ’ ve been ‘ doing some serious mileage ’ in recent weeks !
29 March 2022
“ I ’ m super excited to travel to Cape Town for the Athletes Academy Invitational Track Meet in Stellenbosch . The funny part is that I ’ m not even racing .”
I had the privilege to accompany a few of the track athletes from Murray & Roberts Running Club to Cape Town . We also gave two of our athletes from the Vorentoe Running Academy , Naledi Makgatha and Johannes Morepe , the opportunity to race in the 1500m at sea level . Naledi surprised everyone , including herself , when she won the women ’ s 1500m race in a new PB of 4:19.48 . Johannes finished fourth , and also set a new PB of 3:43.96 . Both qualified for the World Athletics Under-20 Championships that is taking place in Colombia in August , and we are crossing fingers that both will be included in the final team .
The women in Black & Yellow dominated the women ’ s 5000m . It was heart-warming to see the ‘ Van Graan sussies ,’ Kyla and Aynslee , working together as a team , taking turns to set the pace . Tayla Kavanagh then took the lead in the final 500m and won the race in a new PB of 15:43 . One of the highlights of the evening was sharing the outside lane as spectators with running legends Zola Budd Pieterse , Elana Meyer and Alta Verster . opportunity to do my 10th Half at Oceans . My race didn ’ t really go according to plan , though , as I battled from about two kilometres into the race . I shifted my focus from goal pace to appreciation , taking in the scenery and the energy from the crowds .
It was lovely to spot Gerda Steyn and hubby , Duncan , running down Rhodes Drive . At that stage , I was very relieved that I was running the 21K and not the Ultra . Even though my race didn ’ t go according to plan , I was still happy to be the second Veteran across the finish line , behind teammate Janie Grundling .
The highlight of this Two Oceans was being part of the TV commentary team for the Ultra on Sunday after my race . It was a privilege to share the commentary box with Comrades legend Bruce Fordyce , Mosibodi Whitehead and Cuan Walker . It was an experience of a lifetime to follow the historic Oceans behind the scenes on so many screens , and witnessing both Gerda and Irvette van Zyl breaking Frith van der Merwe ’ s course record made the day even more special .
Ready for Live Commentary Duty
10 May 2022
“ Girls just wanna have fun !”
Another trip to Cape Town , and time to leave our racing vests at home and pack our ‘ mooi-moois ’ for the launch of the SPAR Virtual Challenge and Grand Prix series . Elsabe van Zyl , the Sponsorship and Events Manager from SPAR Western Cape , and her team pulled out all the stops for an amazing evening . Multiple Paralympic medallist Louzanne Coetzee and cancer survivor Yoland Bukani inspired us with their powerful testimonies , and we were all challenged to rise above the obstacles that block our path . The 2022 theme # IRise , is about finding your wings and flying !
28 May 2022
“ Hey , Soul Sister ”
All dressed up , with Irv in Cape Town
12 April 2022
“ It ’ s the first time that our extended family of four are traveling to Cape Town for Easter Weekend , and Two Oceans , of course .”
It felt surreal to stand on the start line of the Totalsports Two Oceans Half Marathon again . No race day nerves , just a heart full of gratitude to have the
Line-up of Legends in Stellenbosch
ISSUE 151 | www . modernathlete . co . za
It was very special to travel with my sister Christine to the first leg of the 2022 SPAR Grand Prix Series in Gqeberha . The last time we raced a SPAR 10km together was in 2019 in Joburg , which was before COVID and our baby boys . Christine gave me a good go in the race and I had to work all the way to stay ahead of her , even if it was just one second at the line . I was happy with my 37:52 , but I was even more chuffed with Christine ’ s 37:52 just nine months postpartum . My son Ivan and his cousin Reuben are exactly nine months apart , and it is extra special to share this motherhood journey with Christine , too .
PS : Looking forward to more travels … Next up is the second leg of the SPAR Grand Prix Series in Durban on 26 June , followed by a trip to Mbombela on 16 July for the new addition to the SPAR Grand Prix Series .
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 .
Images : Courtesy René Kalmer