Taiwan's Lin Yi-chieh (
The local runner has been racing in China at Suzhou University, China and is primed to make a good showing in the 100km at the Taipei International Expressway Marathon (台北國際國道霖園馬拉松), which started at 2am on the Wuku-Hsichih section of the Sun Yat-sen Freeway.
Sunny Chen of the Chinese Taipei Road Running Association (中華民國路跑協會) said it was hard to predict a favorite, but Lin "is ready and has home advantage."
In the standard marathon, which started at 6am, Jack Apeldoorn of the Netherlands was expected to make an impression.
Kenyan runner Jesse Maina was also expected to challenge for first, after shrugging off injuries picked up earlier in the season.
In the women's marathon, Harumi Noto and Midori Daigo of Japan and Wioletta Uryga of Poland were expected to duel with Taiwan's leading women runners Chen Shu-hua (
Chen said over 5,000 athletes were to take part in the event, which featured five categories of races: the ultra marathon, marathon, half marathon and 10km and 5km events, of which the latter was open to the public.
Local runners who did well in the long-distance races will represent Taiwan at next year's World Cup Marathon, Chen said.