Ramaala out to regain title
With the focus locally on the Nedbank Soweto Marathon on Sunday, in the United States Hendrick Ramaala will be out to reclaim the New York Marathon title.
Ramaala is aware that he will have to overcome the former world record holder, Paul Tergat of Kenya and many others to achieve the feat.
Reigning champion Martin Lel of Kenya is also back.
Ramaala, 36, who left for New York last night to attend Wednesday's media briefing, won the event in 2005.
"My plan for this year was to go to New York after doing well in the Olympics, but things did not go well for me in China," said Ramaala.
"New York is a big event, there is always pressure because almost all the top athletes in the world will be taking part. I have recovered from the failure to win a medal in China, my training has been going according to plans and I'm ready to compete."
As part of his preparations for New York Marathon, Ramaala won the Nedbank Half-Marathon Series in Bloemfontein at the beginning of this month.
Asked how does he feel about the fact that he is always a lone South African runner in this prestigious marathon, Ramaala said: "It's a big challenge. For me, the New York Marathon is one of the best road running events in the world."