: Laban Moiben, winner in the men’s event last year with a sprint to the tape, an astonishing way to finish the lung-bursting full marathon, is aware that a similar effort may not be good enough to finish on the podium. The quality of elite runners and cooler morning temperature for the 10th Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2013 will set the stage for more runners in the lead pack on Sunday.

Kenyan Moiben and Ethiopian Raji Assefa had both clocked the same time last year, 2:10:48, at the end of a sprint between them. Assefa is absent this time when the 10th SCMM gets underway, but younger and faster competitors will test the huge champion. As per the entry list, about five elite runners have career best performances below the course record 2:09:54 set in 2011 by Girma Assefa.

Prominent among them are Abraham Girma of Ethiopia (personal best 2:06:48 at Amsterdam Marathon 2012), William Kiplagat of Kenya (2:06:40), Elijah Kemboi of Kenya (2:07:51), Shumi Eticha of Ethiopia (2:09:03) and Joseph Maregu of Kenya (2:09:25). Procam International, the event promoter, announced a $ 15,000 cash incentive for clocking the course record in the landmark 10th year.

Moiben is capable of going under his 2012 winning time (personal best 2:09:13 clocked at Ottawa Marathon 2012) but is aware that tactical moves matter more at this level, rather than current form. Familiar with the course and the tough stages, the Kenyan is focused on doing everything within his control to defend his title, worth a whopping $ 40,000 in 2013.

John Kyui, the third placed finisher last year, has also confirmed his entry.

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