Berlin marathon champion Patrick Makau insists his world record set last year over the flat course in the German capital will not be easily broken this summer when some of the top athletes parade for the 42km race.
Makau, who holds the world record of 2:03:38, told Xinhua that he is not made up his mind to compete in Berlin as he is still weighing up the other options on the table, which include running in Frankfurt (Germany) and Chicago (USA).
All the three races will be run in September and October.
"I have not decided if I will be going back to Berlin or Chicago or even Frankfurt. I will make up my mind in one week. I have to look at several issues before penning down my contract to either of the three big city races,"he said. "I have since recovered and in full training at the moment. My plan was to go to the Olympics, but I missed out and I have to look elsewhere on what to do now," he said in Nairobi on Monday.
On whether his world record is under threat, Makau said with Kenyans anything is possible and did not rule out it being lowered in Berlin or any of the other two races if all the conditions are perfect.
"With Kenyans anything is possible. Anyone can spring out and set a new record, so it is pointless to say it is wrapped. But What I have to add is that it will not be easy. I did not do it easily and it was really a big punishment on my body. So whoever attempts to break it must be ready for the same experience. It is not easy as such," he said.
Berlin has one of the flattest courses among the big city marathons.
Already Geoffrey Mutai, the New York Marathon champion, has confirmed participation in Berlin as a fall back race after he was overlooked by the Kenyan selectors to compete at the London Olympics.
Mutai is the fastest man to have run the marathon distance in 2:03:02 in Boston in 2011, but his time was not ratified as the world record.
Moses Mosop, who wound up second in 2:03:06 and Wilson Kipsang, the London marathon title holder (2:03:42), are the other athletes who have dipped under the two hour four minute mark.
Mutai ran the Berlin course in 2010, finishing only two seconds behind Makau in a fast 2:05:10 despite persistent rain throughout the race.
Earlier that year, Mutai ran 2:04:55 to finish second in the Rotterdam Marathon (also behind Makau).
"We are pleased to have Geoffrey Mutai run at Berlin marathon. He is one of the best athletes in the world and will have the opportunity to prove it on the fast Berlin course," said race director Mark Milde.
Mutai regards this decision as a challenge to run a strong race in Berlin.
"I am familiar with the Berlin course and know that you can run very fast there. If the weather is good, there is nothing in the way of a fast time," he said.
His performance in a late-June 10 km road race showed him to be in top competitive form when he won the Boston race unchallenged in 27:29.