Kenyan Micah Kogo will be keen to make it four titles when the Corrida Pedestre Internationale de Houilles marathon gets underway Sunday in France.
Since his first appearance in 2006, Kogo has competed here every year, apart from 2009.
Kogo won the 10km race three times between 2006 and 2008. He however finished second in 2010 and 2012.
The 27-year-old has a PB of 27:01, but his best in Houilles was his 27:48 run in 2010 when finishing second to Imane Merga, who set the course record of 27:47.
The former world record-holder for the distance is keen to return to the winner’s step of the podium today in Houilles, a commune just a few miles outside Paris.
For Kogo, 2013 has been all about his move up to the marathon. He finished second in his debut in Boston (2:10:27), then smashed that mark with 2:06:56 when finishing fourth in Chicago.
Outside of the classic distance, he is undefeated in other races this year, winning over 10km in Cape Elizabeth and at the Falmouth Road Race.
But memories of his defeat last year are still fresh in Kogo’s head, when he was out-sprinted in the final stages by Ethiopia’s Berhanu Legesse as both were given the same time of 28:23.
Legesse won’t be defending his title, but the field is still packed with talent. Another Kenyan Emmanuel Bett is in strong form having won the Great South Run by a huge margin and finishing a close second against a loaded field at the Cross de Atapuerca last month.
Bett also set a 10km PB of 28:23 this year. Although it is 19 seconds slower than Kogo’s season’s best, Bett has beaten Kogo twice before on the track.