One of the world’s top six marathons, the Berlin course is flat and has a reputation amongst the top runners for being “fast and forgiving”, according to America’s Desiree Davila, who finished second at the 2011 Boston race.
A total of eight marathon world records have been set in the German capital and, having finished within four seconds of Makau’s world record in Frankfurt two years ago, Kipsang has been training hard to beat Makau’s record.
“From the start of my training, I was focused on breaking the world record,” said Kipsang, who won the 2012 London marathon in 2:04.40 and finished third over the distance at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
“From my side, the training has been going well. I have run 2:03.32 in training and the time is beatable.”
Kipsang is in a strong field of elite runners which he hopes will help sustain a world-record-breaking pace, although Makau is missing with a knee injury.
One of Kipsang’s rivals is fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge, who won the Hamburg marathon on his debut in April.
“My main target is to run under my personal best [2:05.30], but I am ready to go with the best and will keep up,” said the 28-year-old, who will be running only his second marathon.
Ethiopian long-distance legend Haile Gebrselassie is the official starter having won the race four times from 2006 until 2009.
Four men’s world records have been set in Berlin in the last decade, including Kenyan Paul Tergat’s 2:04.55 in 2003 and Gebrselassie’s 2:04.26 in 2007 and then 2:03.59 in 2008. Makau then shaved 21 seconds off the Ethiopian’s time two years ago.