LOCAL marathoners will be out in full force this weekend battling for honours in the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town.
The race will be held on Saturday and Sunday.
The annual race is returning to action after a two-year absence on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tebello Ramakongoana, who will be making his debut in the race, said he was ready for the contest.
“Preparations are on track and for now, there is nothing to complain about,” Ramakongoana said.
“I think I am ready for the challenge.”
After winning the 2022 Surrender Hill Half Marathon in Free State in February this year, Ramakongoana said he was looking forward to maintaining his form.
In that race, he recorded 1:07:51 before going on to win the eThekwini Best of Best Half Marathon early last month (1:03:48). However, he said his target on Saturday will be breaking the race’s record.
The Two Oceans Half Marathon current record is 1:02:54 set by Zimbabwean, Cuthbert Nyasango in 2006.
He said he was taking every race seriously because he was using them to prepare for the World Championships to be held Oregon, United States in July this year.
On his part, Namakoe Nkhasi, said he was also preparing for the race.
Nkhasi is the races’ 21km category champion for 2016 and 2017.
“I am trying all I can to prepare for the race,” Nkhasi said.
He said in all the races that he competed in this year, he has so far done well and that has given him confidence that he will do better on Saturday.
Jobo Khatoane, the first runner-up for 2019, also said he was hard at work as he was targeting winning the 21km race.
“Preparations are going on well but the only challenge we are facing is the heavy rains that are currently falling in Lesotho.
“I will be happy only if I improve the time that I recorded in the last edition and finish at the top,” Khatoane said.
Khatoane has been in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa for the past four weeks preparing for the race.
He was supposed to compete at Durban City Marathon last weekend, but he pulled out citing adverse weather.
“I had planned to compete at the Durban City Marathon as my preparatory race ahead of Two Oceans. But that was not the case after I pulled out due to rainy and cold weather. I was worried that I would end up catching a flu and be forced to miss the main race (Two Oceans),” Khatoane said.
Veteran runner, Teboho Sello, will be competing in the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon (56km) to be staged on Sunday.