Kenneth Mungara has StanChart Marathon record in his sights
Kenya's Mungara aims to be first male marathon runner to win SCMS thrice
The Kenyans have dominated the men's race at the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore since 2002, with 11 different racers from the powerhouse running nation breasting the tape first here in the past 14 editions.
Now, one of them - Kenneth Mungara - is aiming to make history tomorrow by becoming the first male runner to win the Singapore race thrice.
Mungara, 43, has already won the race on two occasions, in 2010 and 2014, a record he shares with countrymen Luke Kibet (2008, 2009) and Amos Matui (2005, 2006).
Only two runners have better records in the history of the run.
Indonesian Ruwiyati (1997, 1999, 2000) and Kenya's Irene Jerotich Kosgei (2010, 2011, 2012) have won the women's race three times each.
Mungara's eyes lit up when The New Paper told him about the possible achievement.
"I will definitely try to do my best to win the race on Sunday," he said at the race expo at the Singapore Expo yesterday morning.
"You have to do your best, because you don't know how Sunday would be."
The route for this year's full marathon will be different.
While runners coursed through sections of Sentosa in previous years, they will skip the island completely this year.
Instead, from the start point in Orchard, they will make their way to the Marina Bay area before moving on to East Coast Parkway.
Mungara said: "I am happy to hear that they have changed the course, because then I will be going in blind and that is good for someone who runs.
"Knowing the course would slow me down because I am familiar with it, so I can go faster (on Sunday)."
Having gone into professional running only at age 35, Mungara does not believe that his age puts him at a disadvantage.
He even aims to represent Kenya in the Commonwealth Games or the Olympics one day, although he admitted that his goals are tough to attain.
"Only God can tell how many years I will still run... I want to go to the Commonwealth Games (and the Olympics), but it's very challenging because Kenya has a lot of good runners," he said.
"But I believe that one day I will be there."
Meanwhile, reigning Ironman 70.3 world champion Tim Reed will compete in the half marathon tomorrow, after winning an Ironman 70.3 event in Phuket just last Sunday.
The 31-year-old Australian said he is unlikely to clock a good time in Singapore, given the gruelling nature of last week's race and the fact that a triathlete's body is more muscular and thus heavier than one who specialises in running.
He said: "I haven't done a (pure) running race, without cycling or swimming since I was 19 or 20... I don't have high ambitions for a time, I will just go out there and try to enjoy myself."
This year's race, which starts this evening with the Kids Dash, has attracted 46,000 participants in total.
Ironman Asia, who are race organisers of the Singapore Marathon for the first time, have also invited "senior figures" from the marathon Majors to Singapore to give their feedback.
Ironman Asia managing director Geoff Meyer said: "We have a lot to learn but, this year, we focused on just the media profile of the event and the athletic experience.
"We've invited the marathon Majors delegates to see how we do it here in Singapore and give us as much feedback as possible so that we can take it to the next level."