Less than 24 hours after the Boston Marathon released its roster of U.S. elite runners, the London Marathon released its men’s elite field. Headlining the April 26 race is Dennis Kimetto, the current world record holder in the marathon, and Wilson Kipsang, the event’s former world record holder. Though the two Kenyans are training partners in Iten, they have never squared off in a marathon.
Kimetto, the first man ever to run under 2:03:00 (he ran 2:02:57 at the BMW Berlin Marathon in September), broke Kipsang’s record of 2:03:23, set in 2013 on the same course.
“I broke Wilson’s world record in Berlin last year and now I want his London Marathon crown,” Kimetto said in a press release. “I am relishing the chance to face my friend over the famous course. I know it won’t be easy but I am confident I can go the distance whatever he throws at me.”
“With Dennis in the line-up this year it promises to be a bruising battle,” Kipsang, a two-time winner of the race (2012 and 2014), said in the release. “I certainly won’t give up my title without a fight, but let’s see who has the knock-out blow.”
Besides the two marathon juggernauts, the London field is stacked. It includes eight of the top 10 fastest marathoners of 2014 and five of the top 10 fastest marathoners ever. Seven in the field have run faster than 2:05:00; three have run faster than 2:04:00.
While the course may not be as fast as the Berlin Marathon (the site of the last six men’s world records), the London Marathon was the site of American Khalid Khannouchi’s 2002 world and American record of 2:05:38.