Ramaala mulls Japan or boston

WHILE many people are enjoying the festive season holidays, top South African runner Hendrick Ramaala is training hard for the new season.

WHILE many people are enjoying the festive season holidays, top South African runner Hendrick Ramaala is training hard for the new season.

Ramaala is toying with the idea of going to Asia for the Japan Marathon or to the United States for an attempt at the Boston Marathon.

This will be the first time in eight years that Ramaala will miss the London Marathon, which is renowned for attracting world record chasers.

Ramaala, an ASA interim board member who turns 37 on February 2, has a credible eight top 10 finishes in the London Marathon.

"The Japan and Boston marathons are my only two available options but I will make a final decision after discussions with my manager John Bicourt," said Ramaala.

"I have decided to get out of the London Marathon programme. I now understand why Paul Tergat and Haile Gebrselassie are also out of it.

"The problem with the London Marathon is that you have just over five to 10 top runners in the world going for a world record. Age is also no longer on my side," said Ramaala, who is also planning to take part in the South African track and field season in the new year.

"We will have a track and field season, the (ASA) board is working around the clock to secure a sponsorship for track and field as well as road running," he said.

"Track and field is better because it does not run for the whole year. The board will be able to make an announcement once the funding has been secured. We are all positive that we will manage to get a sponsor."

As always at this time of the year, Ramaala has been training at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg with a group of up-and-coming local runners.

"We work as a team, we help each other a lot in terms of training," he told Sowetan yesterday.

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