It will be just his third race ever over the classic distance, but already he has made a big impact on the event. In his debut race in Hamburg last year, he set a course record of 2:05:30 with one of the fastest debut performances of all time.
Five months later, he finished second in Berlin to Wilson Kipsang, who set a world record of 2:03:23. Kipchoge’s time of 2:04:05 made him the sixth-fastest man in history.
Rotterdam Marathon organisers, who will soon announce more names for their race, are hopeful that Kipchoge will take another chunk off his best time in the Dutch city.
“The involvement of an athlete like Kipchoge emphasises our status as one of the fastest marathons in the world,” said race director Mario Kadiks.
The streets of Rotterdam have played host to three marathon world records over the past 30 years. The first of those was set in 1985 by Carlos Lopes when he became the first man to break 2:08 with his 2:07:12 world record.
Three years later, Ethiopia’s Belayneh Dinsamo improved that mark by 22 seconds and then in 1998 Tegla Loroupe clocked 2:20:47, breaking the long-standing mark of 2:21:06 set by Ingrid Kristiansen in 1985.
Based on the average of the top ten times from each marathon, Rotterdam is third behind only Berlin and Dubai. The course record stands at 2:04:27, shared between Duncan Kibet and James Kwambai from their close finish in 2009.