Athletics: Mayock follows Ramaala on the road to New York

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The Independent Online
Ramaala flew in from South Africa yesterday to chase a second successive victory in the 10-mile road race which, he revealed, comes at just the right time before the "Big Apple" race on 6 November.</p>Mayock, who now lives and works in Cardiff, is set to make his marathon debut in New York and will also complete his preparations by competing in the South Coast event, after initially planning to race in Spain.</p>The country's former top 1500 and 5,000 metres runner, now concentrating on a marathon career, is adamant he has made the right decision. "If it is good enough for Ramaala, I'm sure it will be the right thing for me to as well," said Mayock, sixth in the recent Great North Run (beating Britain's leading distance man Jon Brown), where Ramaala finished third.</p>"I had the opportunity to race in Ibiza at the weekend and my planned alternative was to go back to Yorkshire and do a long training run," he said. "But then I decided a 10-miler would be much more beneficial and, although I'm a little tired after my training regime, I'll be going flat out.</p>"My back ached after the Great North, but that has always been a problem which track runners are susceptible to when running on the road."</p>Mayock, who signed off in style over the shorter track distances when he claimed silver in the 3,000m at the European Indoor Championships in March, insists he has recovered from the ordeal of the 13.1-mile race. "I'm OK now, but there were plenty of aches and pains and wear and tear on my body, although I've managed to maintain a high mileage rate."</p>The dual Olympic 10,000m champion Derartu Tulu has set herself a very fast target time in the Great South Run which could let her get close to the course record of 51 minutes.</p>The Ethiopian athlete is confident she can produce a world-class performance in the 10-mile race despite a disappointing showing in last Saturday's World Half-Marathon Championships.</p>Tulu, who won the event nine years ago, plans to reproduce the form which took her to the fastest half-marathon time in the world this year at the Great North Run three weeks ago when she clocked 1hr 7min 33sec against a very tough international field.</p>"It isn't going to be easy but I will try my best," said Tulu, despite finishing only 15th in Edmonton last week. "I was suffering from a very bad cold there, but that has now gone away."</p>Tulu, the world cross-country champion on three occasions, has been staying with Sonia O'Sullivan in London for the last six days. </p>