Placing pleases Ramaala

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Coming second in the first of the Nedbank Matha series was a great start for marathon king Hendrick Ramaala in Tshwane on Saturday.

Although the 21,1km race was won by Kenyan Wirimai Juwawo with a time of 01:04;35, Ramaala felt he was on track for the big ones later in the season - the London Marathon in April and the Olympic Games.

"This was my first race in a long time. I took a break in November and only started training in December. Coming second, six seconds after the winner, was not so bad. So far so good," Ramaala said.

Ramaala admitted the field was strong and of high quality, with strong Kenyan and Zimbabwean athletes giving the locals a good run for their money. Him and Juwawo ran together for a long time, with the winner finally breaking away a short distance from the finish line.

"Of course it was a bit difficult. I always push myself and never go into a race just to jog, even if that race is part of a bigger plan of action."

The men's race was fast-paced, and organisers were not surprised because no less than 200 seeded athletes took part.

The women's race was won by Mr Price and Lesotho athlete Mamorallo Tjoka with a time of 01:16:49, and her stablemate Charne Bosman was not far behind, clocking 01:17:13.

Overall, the numbers improved from 1 200 last year to 1 600 this year.

Senior Men:

Wirimai Juwawo, Hendrick Ramaala, Moses Mooketsi

Senior Women:

Mamorallo Tjoka, Charne Bosman, Tabitha Tsatsa