SA athletes descend on overseas races

2013-11-10 14:00

The cancellation of the Soweto Marathon did not bring a premature end to the season for local road runners, as more South Africans are set to feature in international races over the coming weeks.

A week after Lusapho April finished a credible third at the New York Marathon, ultra-distance specialist Odwa Uhuru Tunyiswa will mark his debut on the international scene in the Athens Classic Marathon in Greece this afternoon.

The race will be the 29-year-old Bonitas Athletics Club runner’s second major one this year, as he has been recovering from a hip injury.

“This year was a season to forget for me as I achieved virtually nothing on the road,” said the man from Middledrift, Eastern Cape.

“I’ve been out with an injury since March and I only returned to action during the City2City Marathon in September.”

Tunyiswa ran 3:00 in this year’s marathon and he was one of the many athletes who were due to run the Soweto Marathon, which was supposed to take place last Sunday.

“I used the City2City mainly as preparation for my long runs. It was disappointing that the Soweto Marathon was cancelled but that didn’t affect my preparations as I have been hard in training with the group of athletes that is looked after by Hendrick Ramaala.

“It was through his guidance that I regained my speed. The Athens course is fast and the record there is 2:11. I am hoping to run anything between 2:15 and 2:16.”

Tunyiswa said Ramaala has encouraged him to convert to standard marathons.

Other SA runners to watch abroad

November 17: Divina Pastora Marathon in Valencia, Spain Coolboy Ngamole

» The Team SA Olympic marathoner will return to the race where he finished sixth in 2011 with a personal best time of 2:10.43 that guaranteed him a spot at the 2012 London Olympics.

Mpho Mabuza

» The 34-year-old will feature in the women’s 42km in Valencia. Yokohama Marathon, Japan

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