René and Liezel among SA Running Stars

2012 SPAR 10km Challenge Grand Prix winner René Kalmer is one of the SA running stars named in Runner’s World’s top 100 heroes for 2012. Photo: gsport4girls

2012 SPAR Grand Prix winner René Kalmer heads an impressive list of women honoured as the Top 100 Heroes for 2012, as published in the December edition of Runner’s World featuring people who use running as a powerful tool to change their lives.

“2012 has been one of my best years ever,” enthused the 2012 Olympic marathon athlete, “And I’m really grateful for the amazing support from the running community!”

Other prominent runners on the list include the legendary Zola Budd and SPAR race regulars Rene’s sister Christine Kalmer, Nolene Conrad, Irvette van Zyl and Sonja Laxton.

Media personalities featured in the list include 2012 SPAR gsport Awards Ambassador, TV and radio presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen and talkshow host Redi Tlhabi.

Van der Westhuizen, who has done many triathlons including the gruelling Ironman triathlon, said her inclusion in the list came as a pleasant surprise.

“Running isn’t a strong point with regards to my fitness, but I love taking part in various road races and meeting people along the way,” the bubbly van der Westhuizen says. “I was so excited when I found out I had made the list, especially because I am sharing the list with phenomenal athletes like Zola Budd,” she added.

Van der Westhuizen, who took up running as a youngster, says. “My dad joined a running club whilst I was in high school, and he encouraged my sister and me to start running.

“I run for myself, I set myself goals and this keeps me motivated,” she says.

She would encourage anyone to run she says. You don’t need to be as fit as she is to start running and it will improve your social life. “Running is one of the most social sports in South Africa. You don’t need to be very fast to join a running club, just find a club near you and have fun,” she advices.

Van der Westhuizen who has participated in the toughest canoe race in the world, the Ultimate Dusi Canoe Marathon, The Cape Argus Pick ’n Pay Cycle Tour and various other cycling races still has many goals she has set for herself in running but at the moment she is concentrating on only one. “I am currently training for Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon,” she reveals.

Women featured in the 2012 Runner’s World Top 100 Heroes:
Landie Greyling
Nolene Conrad
Christine Kalmer
Nicole Marais
René Kalmer
Kathleen Shuttleworth
Sonja Laxton
Liz Ruickbie
Veronika van Niekerk
Elaine Greenblatt
Grace de Oliveira
Annatjie Botes
Suzette Botha
Martha Pretorious
Irvette van Zyl
Redi Tlhabi
Ursula Frans
Zola Budd
Charné Bosman
Maya Lawrie
Paulina Phaho
Alison Hay
Adinda Kruger
Farwa Mentoor
Linda Doke
Sue Ullyett
Sue Don Wauchope
Jeannie Bomford
Slindile Chili
Kathy McQuaide
Letshego Moshoeu
Chantel Nienaber
Paula Quinsee
Uricka Stander
Deidre Larkin
Myrette Filmalter
Tara Hossack
Liezel van der Westhuizen
Shandi Pan
Kim van Kets
Kerry Koen
Nambitha Dambuza



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