Cosmas Lagat, Worknesh Alemu to defend their titles at 2020 Mumbai Marathon

Both men's and women's races have a tough field as 14 runners have times faster than 2:10:00, of which nine have run faster than the course record.

Cosmas Lagat and Worknesh Alemu (right) pictured during last year's Mumbai Marathon.   -  Special Arrangement

Defending champions Cosmas Lagat and Worknesh Alemu will return to the 17th Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020, to be run on January 19. The men and women singles champions stand to earn $45,000 each, plus $15,000 bonus for a course record, in the IAAF Gold Label event.

Kenya’s Lagat won last year, breaking away from the pack around 29 kms into the race and hitting the tape on the 2:09:15 mark, 40 seconds outside the course record — Gideon Kipketer's 2:08:35 set in 2016.

Like Lagat, Ethiopia’s Alemu upset the pre-race form book in 2019 and won in TMM with a personal best 2:25:25. She improved her best to 2:24:42 later in 2019 at the Amsterdam Marathon, where she finished sixth.

Both races this year will have a tough field as 14 runners have times faster than 2:10:00, of which nine have run faster than the course record and six have run under the super-elite benchmark of 2:07:00.

Ethiopian Ayele Abshero has the best time among the participants a personal best 2:04:23, timed eight years ago at the Dubai Marathon. He ended second in the Hamburg Marathon last year in2:08:26.

Alemu heads a strong women’s field which has eight women who have run under 2:28:00. The fastest is Ethiopian Amane Beriso, who ran in 2:20:48 for second place in the 2016 Dubai Marathon. The TMM course record is 2:24:33, set by Valentine Kipketer in 2013.

Approximately 50,000 runners will take to the roads on January 19 over six different races. Apart from the marathon (total prize fund of $405,000), others races are the half marathon, the 10km race, a Dream Run (5.9km), a Senior Citizens Race (4.2km) and a Champions with Disability Race (1.5km).