BERLIN -- Despite the absence of both the defending and world champions, a strong field and favorable forecast should make the 40th Berlin Marathon another fast one on Sunday.
Defending champ Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya is concentrating on the New York City Marathon in November, while world record-holder Patrick Makau has withdrawn due to inflammation in his left knee.
However, world No. 2 and fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang is targeting Makau's record of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 38 seconds, which was set in Berlin in 2011. Kipsang was just four seconds short when winning in Frankfurt the same year.
Kipsang is joined by compatriots Eliud Kipchoge, who made his marathon debut by winning in Hamburg in April, and the 21-year-old Geoffrey Kiptanui, a former junior cross-country world champion, who was third last year.