African top marathon runners are ready to break Mohammed (Mo) Farah's challenge, and the course record, at the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday, April 13.
Others top elite runners from Kenya include: Geoffrey Mutai, who had twice won the New York marathon, as well as Berlin and Boston, where he clocked an unofficial world best of 2:03.02; and Emmanuel Mutai who holds the London marathon course record of 2:04:40.
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The elite contingent from Ethiopia is also strong: Tsegaye Kebede will be there to defend his London title, sub-2:05 runners Ayele Abshero and Tsegaye Mekonnen will be in the pack while Moscow 2013 world 10,000m silver medallist Ibrahim Jeilan will also be making his marathon debut.
Another strong contender from Africa is the world and Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich from Uganda.
Pace-setting will be provided by the distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who is under instruction to take the athletes through the first 30km at the world-record pace.
"It's not going to be easy (for Farah) and he's not likely to win," said Wilson Kipsang. His training partner, Geoffrey Mutai noted that the Somalia-born Mohammed (Mo) Farah is "actually very fit and he will give us a big push in London" but added that "we are ready for his challenge."
Mo Farah caused a scare when he collapsed after the New York City Half Marathon on Sunday March 16 after finishing second behind Geoffrey Mutai.