World record holder Makau leads Kenyan Marathon men


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The Independent Online

Against the breathtaking backdrop of the Great Rift Valley, with hawks circling above, Dave Bedford, the joint race director of the Virgin London Marathon, yesterday unveiled the six Kenyans who will feature in the elite men's field on 23 April.

One of the sextet, sitting alongside the former world 10,000m record holder on the balcony of the Kerio View Hotel, was Patrick Makau, the man who broke Haile Gebrselassie's world marathon record in Berlin last September.

It is a coup to have secured the services of Makau, who clocked 2hr 03min 38sec in the German capital – and those of Wilson Kipsang, the second-fastest marathon man in history; Emmanuel Mutai, last year's London winner; Abel Kirui, the reigning world champion; Vincent Kipruto, the World Championship silver medallist from Daegu last year; and Martin Lel, twice a London winner.

For Makau, it is a chance to return to familiar ground. He said: "In 2006 and 2007 I stayed in Britain. To come back to run in London as a world record holder will be a good feeling.

"It will also be nice to run there for Birchfield Harriers."