Event: Women’s Long Distances Date of birth: 1985/04/09 Personal bests: 800m (2:03.36),...
RAMAALA RETURNS FOR SECOND ULTRA
Hendrick Ramaala will be back for his second old Mutual Two Oceans ultra-marathon next month, the veteran athlete has confirmed.
Ramaala, the 2004 New York Marathon champion, fought hard in the closing stages on debut last year to take second place in 3:11:33, after entering the 56km race at the last minute.
“I’ve entered again and I’m training hard,” Ramaala said.
“My preparation is basically the same but I’m doing more long runs to prepare for the last 14km.
“I’m also doing speed work so I’m not left wanting on the downhills near the finish.”
Last season, the Nedbank Running Club athlete crossed the line less than two minutes off the pace of Lesotho’s Lebenya Nkoka, who also confirmed he would be back in the colours of Maxed Elite.
Nkoka, however, was a closed book with regards to his form.
“It’s hard to tell what shape I’m in until the race, so we’ll see on the day,” he said.
Gert Thys, who holds the 16-year-old SA marathon record (2:06:33) and in-form fellow veteran Shadrack Hoff will also be eager to hold off a strong Ethiopian contingent led by Gershaw Asfaw, a former winner of the Paris and Dubai marathons.
In the women’s race, last year’s Two Oceans victor Nina Podnebesnova of Russia is in the entry lists, along with Zimbabwean Tabith Tsatsa who was awarded the 2013 victory after Russian Natalia Volgina was stripped of her title on a doping charge.
A host of local women are again expected to turn out in an attempt to end the foreign onslaught in recent years, spearheaded by 2013 runner-up Charne Bosman.