dream debut for kalmer

SURPASSING EXPECTATIONS: Rene Kalmer, women's winner at the 2009 Nedbank Soweto Marathon. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 01/11/2009. © Sowetan.
SURPASSING EXPECTATIONS: Rene Kalmer, women's winner at the 2009 Nedbank Soweto Marathon. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 01/11/2009. © Sowetan.

EVERGREEN Rene Kalmer has commended Soweto residents for adding to the colourful atmosphere of the Nedbank Soweto Marathon.

EVERGREEN Rene Kalmer has commended Soweto residents for adding to the colourful atmosphere of the Nedbank Soweto Marathon.

Kalmer made history by winning this celebrated event in Soweto yesterday on her first attempt in a standard marathon (42,2km) where she also set a new course record.

The 28-year-old resident of Roodepoort, who has won just about everything in junior and senior 1 500m and 10km road races, clocked 2hrs:44min:06secs.

The previous record of 2:45:37 was set by Gwen van Lingen in 2001.

"The people here in Soweto were wonderful. They carried us all the way. The win was a surprise. I came here to train," said Kalmer, who pocketed R100000.

"Soweto Marathon was part of my training for the 2010 season. The plan is to go back to the track and short road races next year but will do one real marathon next year.

"I'm surprised how things turned out for me this year," said Kalmer, who finished fourth during the Great South Portsmouth 12km race in Birmingham two weeks ago.

The Princess of Soweto, Poppy Mlambo, finished second in a time of 2:45.28 to take home R80000.

This was Mlambo's second marathon after winning the SA Marathon Championships in Port Elizabeth last year.

"It was a great marathon the plan was to win but I'm still happy with my performance. I'm now going back to short distances next year," Mlambo said.

Lesotho's Mamorallo Tjoka, who was chasing a unique fourth consecutive victory, settled for the third spot after clocking 2:53:13 to take home R60000.

City of Johannesburg's mayor Amos Masondo said they would work closely with other stakeholders to develop a strategy for taking Soweto Marathon to even greater heights.

Molatelo Malehopo, ASA general manager, said the 19th edition of the Soweto Marathon was a roaring success.

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