Rene Kalmer

Updated: January 10, 2013

Event: Women’s Long Distances
Date of birth: 1980/11/03
Personal bests: 800m (2:03.51), 1 500m (4:06.71), 3 000m (8:44.17), 5 000m (15:35.00), 10km (32:28), Half-Marathon (1:10:37), Marathon (2:29:59)
Major achievements:
3 000 Metres: 2010 World Indoor Championships, Doha (8th, final)
Half-Marathon: 2009 World Championships, Birmingham (14th); 2012 World Championships, Kavarna (16th)
Marathon: 2011 World Championships, Daegu (31st); 2012 Olympic Games, London (35th)
Cross Country: 2002 World University Championships, Santiago de Compostela (2nd)

Rene Kalmer was so dominant as a junior, in cross country and on the track, her name was whispered in the same breath as Zola Budd and Elana Meyer. Sometimes holding a full-time job as a teacher, Kalmer may not have reached quite the same heights as her predecessors, but she has been a persistent, versatile force on South Africa’s domestic circuit for 15 years. She finished 12th in the junior women’s race, when she was only 17, at the 1998 World Cross Country Championships in Marrakech, and went on to finish second at the 2002 World University Championships. Having made a successful move to the road in 2007, Kalmer took another step forward in her career when she won her debut marathon in Soweto in 2009, clocking 2:44:06 on a tough course at altitude. In November 2011, she gave an indication of her ability over the 42.2km distance when she dipped under two-and-a-half-hours by one second at the Yokohama Marathon in Japan. At the London Olympics in 2012, she missed her career best by just 52 seconds, producing a well-judged effort to finish 35th. She battled in 2013, after picking up a calf injury at the Boston Marathon in April, but she started making a comeback late in the season and finished sixth in Yokohama in 2:32:39.