|Tšepang Ramonene taking victory at the Nelson Mandela Marathon|
Lesotho distance specialist Tšepang Ramonene will be out to secure a spot at the 2017 World Championships when he takes the field at the Zuma Marathon on April 30 in Durban, South Africa.
The annual race is named after South African president Jacob Zuma and will see the best runners from the region converge on the 42 kilometre course.
The race will be Ramonene’s second international race of the year after he finished 16th at last month’s Seoul International Marathon in South Korea.
He said he is confident of winning the Zuma Marathon. The World Championships will be held in August in London, England.
“The good thing about this race is that it will be on the hill and I enjoy running on hills more than flat races so I am confident I will win this one,” Ramonene said.
Ramonene has recent success in South Africa to call upon. He won the Nelson Mandela Marathon last August in a time of 2 hours, 29 minutes and 14 seconds (2:29:14 hours) and he said he is looking to set a new personal best of under 2 hours, 10 minutes in Durban.
“I am looking forward to setting a new personal best of under 2 hours and 10 minutes because that is normally the standard qualifying time for international competitions, so I will need to work even harder,” Ramonene said.
Ramonene, who is also a member of the Durban-based Phantane club, has been training with local teammates at the Khubetsoana Athletics Club in prepartion for the marathon.
Meanwhile, fellow distance runner Sechaba Bohosi is preparing for the 48th edition of the Old Mutual Two Oceans marathon which will be held on April 15 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Bohosi started preparations last September in South Africa under his coach George Gutry who managed to secure the runner a short-term contract with the Nedbank Athletics Club.
Bohosi said in order to earn a long-term deal he needs to finish amongst the top ten at the Two Oceans race.
“I am working hard to finish in the top 10 and anything more than that will be a bonus,” he said.
“I have been focusing on speed while in South Africa, running short distance races. I only began running long distances in March to gear up for the Two Oceans marathon.”
Lesotho has fine recent history at the Two Oceans marathon. In 2015, Motlokoa Nkhabutlane won the race while last year Nkhabutlane and Mabuthile Lebopo finished in the top five. There was also victory for Lesotho in the 21km half marathon race last year with Namakoe Nkhasi claiming honours in a time of 1:03:38 hours.