Friday, August 21, 2009 exclusive interview: It's Hendrick Ramaala week! (part five)

Enjoy the last part of our Hendrick Ramaala interview.

Previous parts here:

Have you decided on a fall marathon? How about NYC?

I haven’t decided yet. But I’d love to run NYC. I’ve been running there for seven years.

Are you sentimental at all, like collecting the medals or are you just remembering the runs?

No, I have the medals. For sure, they are going to be more important after I ran competitively.

Will you keep running by then?


Will you still be on the loop out there?

Yeah, yeah. I’ll be doing Comrades. Even more loops! An extra hour per day.

You studied law. Is that an option for you after running pro?

I keep that option open. But it’s another stressful thing. Running is once off. On the day of the race I am kind of stressed, especially for a marathon. As a lawyer, it’s stress every day, even on the weekends.
[Tadese Tola walks in.] He’s young…

Did you see what he did in Atlanta? [Tola pushed 4th place finisher Boaz to the side on the homestretch at the Peachtree 10k, got caught by video footage and subsequently disqualified.]

Don’t do that so close to the line, you will be caught by the judges. I just hope he goes out too fast and falls apart on Sunday [at the NYC Half Marathon. Tola sprinted off from the gun and won convincingly. However, Hendrick was the only runner to close the gap initially but he was dropped again a mile later].
Or they don’t go out as fast as in the recent years. Two years ago it was Haile going at 59 pace and I was blown to pieces. Last year it was Makau and some other Kenyans.

Do you like the hills in Central Park?

No, because they come first in the race. I wish they were towards the finish. They’re too early. If it would be the other way round, I think I would do better as I could catch up with the guys who go out too hard too early. In recent years, I got dropped early and that was it.

You should ask Mary Wittenberg to reverse the course.

[laughs] I don’t think she will listen. We have to live with the course and try to do our best. You need to psych yourself up the way it is. I dream winning it but I just don’t know if I can handle these guys early speed.

Let’s talk real running, let’s talk marathon. I did the NYC marathon course in training last week. Actually, that incline along Central Park on 5th avenue at mile 22…

Oh! Suffering!

It doesn’t feel that bad if you are just jogging!

It’s loooong. It’s terrible. You’re just hanging on. Everybody is equal there. This is the place to make your move. [sighs heavily] The story of the marathon. [pauses] If I come back to the NYC marathon, I come back with a winning mentality. I should do myself a favor and win another one.

Thanks so much Hendrick.

What's your website again?

It's called

I am definitely gonna read it. I love stories about our sport. I have time for this. There are no stories on Facebook.