Kenyan trio target marathon record in Berlin
26 September 2015, 18:23
Berlin -Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, Emmanuel Mutai and Geoffrey Mutai are targeting the world record of two hours, 2mins 57sec, set here last year, when they tackle Sunday's Berlin Marathon.
The fast course through the heart of Germany's capital is the first autumn race in the world's major marathon series, alongside Tokyo, Boston, London, Chicago and New York, and the Kenyan trio will lead the elite field.
Since 2003, the men's world record has fallen six times in Berlin, including three times in the last four years.
Having finished second two years ago in a personal best time of 2:04:05, Kipchoge is ready to attempt to better Dennis Kimetto's world record set in winning last year's marathon in front of Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate.
Kipchoge is currently the world number one over the marathon distance and plans to go through halfway in 61:30 mins, which would be on world record pace.
He is the fastest marathoner in the world this year with his 2:04:42 when he won the London marathon in April.
The men's marathon record has fallen on seven occasions in Berlin altogether, including in each of the last two years.
"I know that I can run faster in the future. The Berlin course is very good." said the 30-year-old Kipchoge, who won the Rotterdam and Chicago marathons in 2013 before being victorious in London.
"I'm not saying I'll break the world record on Sunday, but I'm ready for a very fast time."
His main rival is set to be his training partner Emmanuel Mutai, who was second last year in 2:03:13, just 20 seconds behind the world record.
"I'm looking forward to the race on Sunday and have prepared very well. It's always my aim to run faster than before," said the 30-year-old Emmanuel, who is no relation to namesake Geoffrey.
"Everyone wants to win and I accept whatever happens -- whether it's myself, Eliud or Geoffrey who finishes first."
Geoffrey Mutai, 33, won the 2012 race in Germany's capital and is the second fastest marathon runner in history after clocking 2:03:02 in Boston in 2011.
He is also the New York course record holder with 2:05:06, which he ran later the same year.
He has been blighted by injuries in recent years which have prevented him running at his best.
"This wasn't an easy time for me but now I am delighted to be in Berlin and have a good feeling about the race," he insisted.