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40th Berlin Marathon Preview

Berlin, Germany (Sports Network) - There will be plenty of sites to see on Sunday during the running of the 40th Berlin Marathon.

The 26.2-mile race starts and finishes near the Brandenburg Gate in downtown Berlin, one of Germany's most famous landmarks, and goes through all the main city sites. Expect over 45,000 runners at the starting line, eclipsing the record set in 2008.

Despite the absence of defending champion Geoffrey Mutai and world record holder Patrick Makau, both of Kenya, expect a solid field on Sunday. Mutai is set to defend his 2011 title at the New York City Marathon and Makau has inflammation in his left knee.

Mutai edged fellow Kenyan and training partner Dennis Kimetto by just one second last year.

Makau's world record of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 38 seconds was set at the 2011 Berlin Marathon. Fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang has aims of beating the mark in this year's event, the 2012 London Marathon champion said earlier this week.

The Kenyans also will showcase 28-year-old Eliud Kipchoge, a world champion in the 5,000 meters and the Olympic bronze medalist in 2004 and silver medalist in 2008 at the distance.

Among the other elite runners are Geoffrey Kipsang, a 21-year-old from Kenya, and Marilson Dos Santos, a Brazilian who is a two-time winner of the New York City Marathon.

Kenya and Ethiopia have dominated the Berlin Marathon. Kenya has won 10 of the last 14 races and Ethiopia's Haile Gebrselassie captured the other four.

No American has ever won the race.

Over the past 50 years, eight world records have been set at the Berlin Marathon, whose course is considered the fastest in the world.

On the women's side, defending champion Aberu Kebede of Ethiopia isn't running. However, 2011 champion Florence Kiplagat will be on hand, along with German Marathon record-holder Irina Mikitenko and 2012 Boston Marathon champion Sharon Cherop.

California's Desiree Davila is one of the top American female marathoners in the country. She represented the United States at the Summer Olympics in London but didn't finish the race because of an injury. In 2011, she finished second at the Boston Marathon in the fastest time ever run by an American woman at 2:22.38.

09/26 14:40:12 ET

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