First, the bad news. Edna Kiplagat, the 2010 New York City Women’s Marathon champ, will not be able to defend her title at this year’s worldwide race due to a severe foot injury.

Regardless, hundreds of runners from around the world are already in the city preparing for Sunday’s 26.219-mile marathon that once again will get the gun at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, with the course touching and running through every borough in the city.

This year’s event will be highlighted by the men’s race for the World’s Marathon Majors championship, where mere points separate the top contenders for the title. The points leader is Kenya’s Patrick Kamau, who has 60 points and a five-point lead. He set the world marathon record about six weeks ago in Berlin when he crossed the line in a 2:03:38. However, he will not compete in this year’s race, but depending on the outcome, he can still win the Majors Championship. However, Gebre Gebremariam (Ethiopia) and Geoffrey Mutai and Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya) will be right there to win the title with strong finishes.