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Toronto Waterfront Marathon Contenders

Kenneth Mungara. Photo: Scotiabank

Scotiabank

MEN TO WATCH

Kenneth Mungara

The favourite. Defending three-time champion and course record holder (2 hours 7 minutes 58 seconds) from Kenya. "If the pacers go fast, I can be in position. But they cook the race. I only bring dinner to the table at the end."

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Reid Coolsaet

Runner from Guelph, Ont., set mark for a Canadian on Canadian soil last fall (2:11:23). Wants to chase Jerome Drayton's 36-year-old Canadian record (2:10:09). "I'm definitely going to take a shot at it, but it may be windy and that will be a factor."

Nixon Machichim Kipkoech

The Kenyan ran fourth in the Toronto Waterfront in 2010 (2:08:22) and could make up the 24 seconds to countryman Mungara. Won the 2011 Linz marathon (2:09:37) and has been preparing for Toronto since May.

WOMEN TO WATCH

Koren Yal

Ethiopian was fourth in 2010 (2:24:33). Leads the elite women's field after strong 2011 finishes, winning January's Mumbai marathon (2:26:56) and placing third in Paris in April. Wants 2:22:00 here to be sure of Ethiopian Olympic team. "Fantastic conditions for me would be not too hot, not too cold."

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Mare Dibaba

Has taken aim on a time of 2:22 to make Ethiopian Olympic team. She was third at the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon in February. The favourite at the Los Angeles marathon in March, she was third in a slow 2:30:25, but rebounded to win a half-marathon in China in April, and ran 2:25.27 to place fifth at Frankfurt.

Katherine Moore

Vancouverite was leading Canadian at 2:47:44 in 2010 Scotiabank Waterfront marathon. A teacher and yoga trainer in Vancouver, she has been one of Canada's top distance runners since 2004.

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Sports reporter

James Christie written sports for the Globe on staff since 1974, covering almost all beats and interviewed the big names from Joe DiMaggio, to Muhammad Ali, to Jim Brown to Wayne Gretzky. Also covered the 10 worst years in Toronto Maple Leafs hockey history. More

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