Monday, December 07, 2009

Singapore marathon record looks to be broken

Matheos Viktor Messakh , THE JAKARTA POST , SINGAPORE | Sun, 12/06/2009 2:46 PM

Defending champion, Kenyan Luke Kibet, hopes tougher challenge from the field this year will push him to break the record in Sunday's Standard Chartered Singaporean Marathon.

He set a course record of 2 hours 13 minutes and 1 second to win last year's run and is back to defend his title despite being troubled by an Achilles tendon injury suffered in March.

"I'm here to defend my title. I'm well prepared for the race tomorrow," the 27-year-old runner told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

The injury prompted him to take part in only two races since, the London Marathon in April and a 10-mile run in Portsmouth.

"I want to break the course record. Last year I was running alone. Hopefully with a stronger field this year to push me, I can go for 2:13 to 2:12."

Kibet's personal best time is 2:08:52, which he achieved in October 2005 in Eindhoven where he finished third.

The humidity will pose a problem, Kenyan veteran David Kiprono Langat believes.

"Your sweat doesn't evaporate fast enough and your body will not cool down so quickly," he told reporters.

However, Kibet said he had prepared for the adversity.

"I have run several races in Asia with similar humidity. I know everybody's looking for the *prize* money, but I'm here for the run. I'm looking to break my record tomorrow," said the prison guard who won the 2005 and 2006 Taipei Marathon.

The National Environment Agency has forecast showers with thunder Sunday morning. The city was hit by a downpour Saturday evening.

As many as 56 top runners, almost 30 of whom come from marathon powerhouse Kenya, will be at the starting line at the famous Esplanade Bridge, Raffles Quay, at 5.30 a.m.

The elites will be joined by 50,000 running enthusiasts for the day race which is split into a 42,2-kilometer marathon, a half-marathon, a 10-kilometer wheelchair race and the 750-meter run for children.

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