"The time has finally come, it's one – we're here for the record," manager of the Kenyan squad, Craig Fry, said at yesterday's media conference for the powerful Nedbank Running Club in a city hotel.
"It's taken six years in the planning. Every year I go to Kenya in November to check on my athletes and assess the races and goals for the next year. Last year I met up with (2:08 marathoner) Abraham Kiprotich who told me 'the time is right – we need to assemble a team to take on the Two Oceans record."
Kiprotich, who runs under French citizenry, placed third at the Istanbul Marathon five months ago in 2 hrs 10 min and is the strong favourite for Saturday's race. He will be supported in the record attempt by last year's winner, Justin Chesire and four other top marathoners.
"If conditions are right I believe the record can be broken," said Kiprotich, in reference to Thompson Magawana's 31 year old mark of 3 hrs 03 min 44 sec.
Earlier last year's winner, Gerda Steyn, also reflected on the Two Oceans record - that of 3:30:36 by Frith van der Merwe. "It's an impressive record. Frith had run a 2 hrs 27 min marathon when she set the mark, so I think we first need to concentrate on getting our marathon times down.