Berlin: Kenya`s Eliud Kipchoge, Emmanuel Mutai and Geoffrey Mutai are targeting the world record of two hours, 2mins 57sec, set here last year, when they tackle Sunday`s Berlin Marathon.
The fast course through the heart of Germany`s capital is the first autumn race in the world`s major marathon series, alongside Tokyo, Boston, London, Chicago and New York, and the Kenyan trio will lead the elite field.
Since 2003, the men`s world record has fallen six times in Berlin, including three times in the last four years.
Having finished second two years ago in a personal best time of 2:04:05, Kipchoge is ready to attempt to better Dennis Kimetto`s world record set in wonning last year`s marathon in front of Berlin`s iconic Brandenburg Gate.
Kipchoge is currently the world number one over the marathon distance and plans to go through halfway in 61:30 mins, which would be on world record pace.
He is the fastest marathoner in the world this year with his 2:04:42 when he won the London marathon in April.
The men`s marathon record has fallen on seven occasions in Berlin altogether, including in each of the last two years.
"I know that I can run faster in the future. The Berlin course is very good." said the 30-year-old Kipchoge, who won the Rotterdam and Chicago marathons in 2013 before being victorious in London.
"I`m not saying I`ll break the world record on Sunday, but I`m ready for a very fast time."
His main rival is set to be his training partner Emmanuel Mutai, who was second last year in 2:03:13, just 20 seconds behind the world record.
"I`m looking forward to the race on Sunday and have prepared very well. It`s always my aim to run faster than before," said the 30-year-old Emmanuel, who is no relation to namesake Geoffrey.
"Everyone wants to win and I accept whatever happens -- whether it`s myself, Eliud or Geoffrey who finishes first."
Geoffrey Mutai, 33, won the 2012 race in Germany`s capital and is the second fastest marathon runner in history after clocking 2:03:02 in Boston in 2011.
He is also the New York course record holder with 2:05:06, which he ran later the same year.
He has been blighted by injuries in recent years which have prevented him running at his best.
"This wasn`t an easy time for me but now I am delighted to be in Berlin and have a good feeling about the race," he insisted.