SINGAPORE: Expect some fierce rivalry at this year’s Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore on December 2.
Both the men’s and women’s champions are back to defend their titles but their reign could be under threat.
Charles Kanyao, the surprise winner in the men’s category last year with his time of two hours and 14 minutes, admitted he has to up the ante to retain the crown.
"This year, there are good runners but I will survive... and pull ahead," said Kanyao.
The Kenyan also pointed out Singapore’s weather is another factor in this year’s race.
Wanting to upstage him is fellow compatriot Luke Kibet, the 2008 and 2009 winner.
Kibet has a personal best of two hours, 11 minutes and 25 seconds.
Another contender in the men’s category is the 2010 champion, Kenneth Mungara of Kenya.
In the women’s race, Kenyan Irene Jerotich is gunning for the treble.
"I am well prepared. I did all my training program and I did not have any problem. I did everything which was required for me to do so I think I am in good form and I am ready to face on Sunday," said Jerotich, who has won the race for the last two years.
Among those who could spoil her celebrations is Ethiopia’s Shitaye Gemechu who has a personal best of two hours and 26 minutes.
A total of 53,000 runners are competing this year compared to the 65,000 in 2011.
The lower figure is a deliberate attempt by the organisers to control the numbers to avoid congestion along certain segments of the route and also provide a more pleasant experience for all competing.
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