By Paul Gains
Top Male Contenders
#1 Gilbert Yegon KENYA
Yegon comes from the famed town of Eldoret, Kenya and trains in an elite group of runners which includes the 2012 Olympic marathon champion, Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda. At 24 years of age Yegon has a very bright future. He says he is aiming to improve his personal best time of 2:06:18, which he set in Amsterdam three years ago,and would like to get under 2 hours 6 minutes. A year ago he battled injuries, but, as his 2nd place finish at the Vienna Marathon (2:07:38) attests, he is back in fine form.
#2 John Kiprotich KENYA
This 23 year old from Kitale, Kenya trains under notorious Italian coach, Renato Canova in a group which includes two time world champion Abel Kirui. He has a personal best of 2:07:08 set at the 2011 Amsterdam marathon. Kiprotich finished 3rd at this year's Vienna Marathon in 2:07:44 and has his eyes on the Toronto course record of 2:07:58.
#4 Charles Munyeki KENYA
Munyeki began his marathon career as a pacemaker at the 2006 Chicago marathon. He made his full marathon debut in Chicago three years later with a splendid 4th place in 2:07:06. At 35 years of age this native of Nyahururu in Kenya's Great Rift Valley is running at his peak. Earlier this year he ran 2:07:41 in Seoul.
#5 Siraj Gena ETHIOPIA
A 27 year old from Addis Ababa, Gena has a personal best time of 2:08:31 set in Frankfurt 2011. He famously won the 2010 Rome Marathon (2:08:39) crossing the finish line in bare feet. Organisers had offered the winners 5000 euros if they finished in bare feet to commemorate Abebe Bikila's 1960 Olympic victory. Bikila had run the entire marathon in bare feet.
#6 Felix Limo KENYA
Limo, 32, was one of the world's top marathoners between 2004 and 2006 with victories in three of the ‘Marathon Majors' Berlin (2004), Chicago (2005) and Berlin. He also won the 2004 Rotterdam marathon in 2:06:16, which remains his personal best time. But a back injury limited his training for a period. A year ago he finished 4th in the Berlin Marathon in 2:10:38. According to reports he is in great shape and looking for a 2:07 clocking in Toronto.
Top Female Contenders
#31 Agnes Kiprop KENYA
This 33 year old mother of two has a personal best of 2:23:54 set in Frankfurt last year. She has been training with a group which includes Sharon Cherop, the 2010 STWM champion and 2012 Boston champion and Mary Keitany the 2012 London champion. Kiprop won the Prague Marathon May 13th just a few weeks after dropping out of Boston where she had been suffering the after effects of typhoid.
#32 Eyerusalem Kuma ETHIOPIA
Before she became a marathoner Kuma was a world class performer on the track winning the 2004 African Championships at 10,000m. Since making her marathon debut in Dubai 2009 (2:26:51) Kuma has been a formidable competitor at this distance also. A year ago she lowered her personal best to 2:24:55 finishing 2nd at the Amsterdam marathon. On February 26th she ran 2:28:36 for 7th at the prestigious Tokyo Marathon. Kuma is 31 years old.
#33 Silvia Skvortsova RUSSIA
A proven international performer the 37 year old Skvortosova has beaten 2:30 in nine of the past ten years and has a personal best of 2:26:24 from the 2009 Berlin marathon. That same year she finished a credible 10th in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. A year ago she ran 2:27:51 in cold windy conditions in Toronto and returns with that experience behind her. Skvortsova is coached by her husband Alexandr who will be accompanying her to Toronto. The couple has a young daughter.
#37 Lanni Marchant CANADA
This 28 year old London, Ontario native surprised many with a huge personal best of 2:31:51 for 5th place in the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon. That makes her the 9th fastest Canadian marathoner of all time. She unsuccessfully appealed to get onto the 2012 Olympic team and now says she wants to run 2:29:55 or better to prove to Athletics Canada that she should have run at the Olympics. The Canadian Record of 2:28:36 is another prime objective. Marchant is also a practicing attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee where she attended university.
#38 Krista Duchene CANADA
At 35 years of age, Duchene keeps getting better having finished 7th at the 2012 Rotterdam Marathon in 2:32:06. Being the primary caregiver to three active children she has learned to manage her time effectively. She runs 160km a week and swims and bikes three or four times a week to supplement this volume. She ran a personal best half marathon in Vancouver last June 1:14:02 adding to her confidence. She is strongly driven by her faith.
For Complete Start Lists see: STWM.ca.
About the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada's premier national running event, attracting 22,000 participants from over 50 countries and aiming to raise $3 million for over 165 local and national charities.
This fast, flat, scenic course holds the record for the fastest men's and women's marathons run in Canada (2:07:58, Kenneth Mungara in 2010; and 2:22:43, Koren Yal, in 2011) and for the fifth consecutive year, the STWM has been awarded the prestigious Silver Label by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The race vision is to continue to build Toronto in the same league as other world-class city marathon destinations such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston.
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $45 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at ScotiaBank.com.