This top 8 will be joined in the first group by John Langat (Ken, 2.07.11), Asefa Tefera Mengisa (Eth, 2.07.47), Cyrus Mutai (Ken, 2.10.28) and Titus Kipruto (2.12.43). This makes for a mighty ‘vanguard’ that is considered capable of creating a nerve-wrecking race full of tension and fast times.

A second group of 15 athletes will be setting off at a slower pace. These runners include Dutchmen Roy Hoornweg and Floris Willeboordse amongst others. Hoornweg has already made a name for himself as hare and is now making his official marathon debut. Willeboordse is keen to improve his PR of 2.30.01 (New York, 2019).

Abdi Nageeye, who ‘flew’ over the fast Rotterdam course to grab the Dutch record of 2.06.11 in 2019, has opted for the New York marathon this year after his Olympic Silver medal. Nageeye also stood out in Japan by literally and figuratively piloting his Flemish friend Bashir Abdi to grab bronze. However, Bashir will be coming to the Coolsingel.

The 40th NN Marathon Rotterdam women’s competition is also promising to be an attractive race featuring Kenya’s top athletes Bornes Kitur (2.21.26) and Stella Barsosio (2.23.36) amongst others. Other contenders for victory are Nataliya Lehonkova (Ukraine, PR 2.28.58), Norway’s Runa Skrove Falch (2.33.52), and Sweden’s Louise Wiker (2.36.29). Moreover, debutantes Marijke Visser and Jacelyn Gruppen (2.52.17) are expected to run a good marathon.

Mario Kadiks is happy with the field of participants in the 40th NN Marathon Rotterdam, both in the men’s and women’s races. After 35 editions of many highs, he is stepping down as organiser of #demooiste. ,,With so many top athletes brimming with boundless ambition it looks  set to be an exceptional jubilee.’’