Far from kicking back and relaxing, Old Mutual Two Oceans half-marathon winner, René Kalmer, is preparing herself for a busy ten days, which includes the 5000m at the SA Senior Championships in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, followed closely by a 10km challenge in Cape Town.
Speaking after her Two Oceans win on Saturday, Kalmer said: “Everything went according to plan and I felt strong throughout the race. It was a new course with a long new uphill at Edinburgh drive just after 2km. I made my break on the hill and just extended the gap.
“I didn’t push too hard throughout the race, wanted to leave some petrol in the tank for a busy 10 days to follow. This weekend I’m defending my 5000m SA title in Port Elizabeth, after that I’ll be jetting back to Cape Town for the first leg of the Spar Ladies 10km challenge.”
Kalmer said the key to her Two Oceans success was constant training.
“Last year was a great disappointment when I got ITB problems on the course and couldn’t defend my title successfully. It was a very tough year. Training went great, but it never reflected in my races. I’m glad that all the hard work from last year is paying off. Couldn’t ask for better timing.”
With the London Olympics just a few months away, there is no doubt where Kalmer’s focus lies. She will take her Olympic training to a new level at the London Marathon on April 22.
“I’m actually only the pace-maker for the 2h28min group. I’m doing it to get some experience ahead of the Olympic Games, so I know what to expect racing in London in August.”
Kalmer’s London 2012 goal is to run a personal best. “I think it is going to be a tactical race which will benefit me,” she said. “At the World Champs in Daegu, I managed to stay with the leaders for 25kms, but hope to stay with them longer this time around.”
So, how does she keep motivated?
“When races go according to plan motivation come natural and in an Olympic year motivation is not a problem. But it is important not to get too carried away and overdo it. My motto is not to train harder, but to train smarter.”
Follow René on Twitter to keep her track of her Olympic preparations – @ReneKalmer
Leading Results of the 21km Two Oceans Half-Marathon: 1. René Kalmer 01:15:02 2. Irvette van Blerk 01:16:22 3. Rutendo Nyahora (Zim) 01:18:30 4. Zintle Xiniwe 01:19:39 5. Christine Kalmer 01:20:05 6. Bulelwa Simae 01:22:33 7. Cary-Ann Smith 01:22:38 8. Ulrica Stander 01:23:09 9. Dianne McEwan 01:23:13 10. Janene Carey 01:25:37
Leading Results of the 56km Two Oceans Marathon: 1. Elena Nurgalieva (Rus) 03:41:55 2. Natalia Volgina (Rus) 03:45:29 3. Devon Crosby-Helms (USA) 03:47:30 4. Mamorallo Tjoka (Les) 03:48:50 5. Samukeliso Moyo (Zim) 03:49:10 6. Adinda Kruger (RSA) 03:50:13 7. Lizih Chokore (Zim) 03:52:26 8. Ntombesintu Mfunzi (RSA) 03:52:39 9. Mundalamo Tshifhiwa (RSA) 03:53:00 10. Paulina Njeya (RSA) 03:53:29