On Sunday one of the biggest and best marathon races will get under
way. A record number of more than 100,000 runners applied for a bib
number. Last year London was the third biggest Marathon in the world
behind New York and Chicago. Exactly 45,263 athletes got a bib number
from the organisation for the jubilee race on Sunday.
Although Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) cancelled his start for the
London Marathon the race will have the best marathon field of the year.
The total amount of bonuses is 295,000 US-Dollar. There will be some of
the best marathon runners in the world in this race, like Olympic
Champion Stefano Baldini (Italy), world record holder Paul Tergat
(Kenya), who ran 2:04:55 in Berlin in 2003, and the defending champion
Evans Rutto (Kenya). The Kenyan has won all of his three marathons: two
times Chicago and once London.
Paula Radcliffe will be the favourite in the women’s race. The
Englishwomen came back with a victory, after her Olympic disaster in
Athens. She won the New York Marathon last November. Two years ago she
had set the world record in London with 2:15:25. “I can run faster than
that – but then there must be everything perfect on the day of the
race, the course, the weather and my fitness”, Paula Radcliffe said. If
she would win on Sunday it would be her fifth victory out of six
marathons: “Winning is the important thing, but I still feel I can run
a fast time.”
On Monday the 109th edition of the BAA Boston Marathon will be started.
Both the defending champions, the Kenyans Timothy Cherigat and
Catherine Ndereba, will be in the race. The women’s marathon will be
started by three time winner Uta Pippig.