Rene Kalmer stamps her place as a true marathon runner, after setting 15th-fastest time for a South Africa runner with the London 2012 Olympics drawing closer. File photo: Supplied

Rene Kalmer has stamped her authority on the South African Marathon circuit with her 5th place at the 2011 Yokohama Marathon on Sunday 20 November. Her time of 2:29;59 is the 15th-fastest time ever by a South African.

Speaking from Japan, Kalmer was elated with her performance. “This has been a tough year for me. I had great training sessions, but in the races it just never come through. I also struggled terribly with ITB throughout the year.

“I think it may have been because of the transition from track to the Marathon with the extra mileage. But I believe I am now a true Marathon runner.”

Kalmer was unhappy with her performance at the World Championships in Daegu where she ran 2:38;16 for 31st; she felt the result did not reflect her shape. Agent Brendan Reilly, who has a good relationship with the Japanese Athletics community, advised her not to be too emotional, but rather to rest and let him know whether she would be interested in running another marathon before the year’s end.

Kalmer took a week off after World’s and then commenced to jog for 30 minutes daily when she received the news from Reilly that she had been entered into the Yokohama Marathon. “Reilly’s good contacts with the Japanese got me into the race as my time at World’s was not the best. But after running a 32km race in 1:56, I decided to race Yokohama.”

Kalmer was ranked 18th coming into the race and therefore felt no pressure. “My plan was to at 3:33min/km and that’s what I did. I worked my way through the field. Halfway I went through in 1:14:56.”

24 degrees and high humidity did not make for ideal conditions, but Kalmer had run in very hot conditions in South Africa of late and felt comfortable, “and after Daegu, any conditions were a breeze.”

“Now I will rest for a bit before I start preparing for 2012.” Kalmer has her sights firmly fixed on London in 2012.

The South African record of 2:25;15 stands behind the name of Elana Meyer, run in Boston in 1994. Only Meyer, Colleen de Reuck and Frith van der Merwe have run faster than Kalmer whose 2:29;59 is the fastest time by a South African since 1999.