The world's best marathon runners have arrived in London ahead's of Sunday's race, with both the men's and women's competitions boasting some high calibre competitors.
The world's elite marathon runners have been gathering in London ahead of Sunday's race around the capital..
As usual the Kenyans have brought a strong squad, which includes for the first time the second fastest marathon runner of all time, Wilson Kipsang.
He says while the race could act as a trial for the Olympics it is special in it's own right.
SOUNDBITE: (English) Wilson Kipsang
(Q: is the London marathon special in it's own right, particularly with a such a strong field, or is it more a stepping stone for the Olympics?) "Yes I think for someone like me, I think the London marathon is really very special to me because it is my first time competing in London, first time or the first race amongst the medals (former medallists) and I'm having the opportunity to really compete so, and it's like trials in Kenya."
Also in action will be defending men's champion Emmanuel Mutai. who says he could have to break his own course record if he is to win again.
SOUNDBITE: (English) Emmanuel Mutai
(Q: You won the London marathon in 2011. How hard do you think it will be to win again this year?) "for me I see that the field is so strong so I need to work extra hard but for now I will have to try and run my own best (personal best) if it is going to be possible to retain the title."
Much like Mutai, women's champion Mary Keitany says she will have to be at her best given the strength of the field.
SOUNDBITE: (English) Mary Keitany
(Q: You were the winner here in 2011, does that make you more nervous ahead of the race?) "what I can say is that because the race, the race on Sunday will be very competitive, I think the field will be very competitive, I have to run at least to my maximum in order to defend my title."
With all the talent on show this year's London Marathon should be a cracker.
Elite runners gear up for London MarathonThursday, April 19 2012