Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore: Ironman Reed, two-time champion Mungara line up for Sunday race

SINGAPORE - New Ironman 70.3 world champion Tim Reed is used to 21km of running, 1.9km of swimming and 90km of cycling in a single race.

But even though he will need to compete in just one discipline - running - at Sunday's Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore (SCMS), Reed feels that the 21km race will be not much easier than an Ironman race.

The 31-year-old Australian, who won his first World Championships in September, noted that there are two challenges for him to overcome at Singapore's biggest running event.

He said: "I haven't done a running race without the swim and bike components since I was probably 19 or 20. So that's going to be something that's exciting and different for me.

"My running wouldn't be much faster, because as a triathlete, you train so much for the strength to run after getting off the bike, so you don't exactly train for hitting that top speed. That makes it difficult to match a pure runner.

"The other issue is that I raced in Thailand on Sunday and my legs are feeling a bit tired right now. I don't have a high ambition for a good time, I just want to go out there to enjoy myself. I would expect to run probably two to three minutes quicker than in a triathlon if I was competing witg more freshness."

Reed was speaking at the pre-race press conference at Singapore Expo on Friday, at the same venue where many race-goers have been gathering to collect their race packs. Race pack collection continues tomorrow.

Two-time champion (2010 and 2014) Kenneth Mungara of Kenya returns for another crack at the course record of 2hr 11min 25sec set by fellow Kenyan Luke Kibet in 2009.

Mungara, 43, continues to make a mockery of his age, winning the Gold Coast Marathon earlier this year. He did not compete in the SCMS last year.

He said: "I feel that right now, I can do anything. I can go faster because I feel comfortable and good in my training sessions."

Even though he is one of the favourites to clinch his third title in Singapore this weekend, he noted that the weather conditions is a hurdle to cross.

Mungara, who hails from Limuru, a town that is about 30km away from capital Nairobi, said: "In Kenya, it is very cold. But in Singapore, the humidity and heat is a challenge. And that's something that is here to stay."