Ramaala warms up for London Marathon

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Renowned South African runner Hendrick Ramaala is off to KaNyamazane on April 4 for the Nedbank Matha Series 21km road race.

Ramaala, 37, pictured, is using the race in Mpumalanga to sharpen himself for the celebrated London Marathon on April 26.

It will be Ramaala's eighth appearance at the London Marathon where he has the distinction of finishing in the top 10 every time he took part.

Those top 10 finishes include third place in 2007 and 2008 in a race that has lately been dominated by the mighty Kenyans in the men's section.

Prior to going to KaNyamazane, Ramaala will participate in the 10km road race of the Nedbank Johannesburg City Marathon on March 22.

"I have decided to participate in two local road races as part of my final preparations for London Marathon. The training has been going well," said Ramaala.

"The Kenyans have already sent out an early warning that they are going for a new world record, clearly saying to all of us, 'redouble your training.'"

"It's always great going to the London Marathon this year because in August we will be going to major championships.

"We have the World Championships in Berlin this year, so everybody will be out to get a good time ahead of the championships."

The current world record of 2hrs:03min:59sec was set in Berlin by one of the greatest athletes in the world, Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie.

Ramaala has competed in two Matha Series road races this year, finishing second to Kenyan Peter Nderitu in Durban and winning the one in Pretoria last month.