Mark Kiptoo will be seeking to defend his title as the soldiers parade for the Armed Forces Championship tomorrow at Thika Barracks. KDF will use the event to pick the team that will represent them at next month national trials.
Kiptoo will be chasing his third title at the event, having also won in 2010. Last year, on the flat 81 Tank Battalion base in Lanet, Nakuru, he destroyed a strong field to carry the day.
Kiptoo, 35, however, faces tough opposition against younger athletes including Peter Matelong, who clinched two events in the KCB/AK cross country series, which ended last weekend in Kericho.
Kiptoo hopes to use his wide experience in racing to shake off the threat in the senior men's race."I know it will be a tough race as I am competing against some of the fresh and young faces but I intend to use my experience to carry the day," he added.
Kiptoo's plan in the long run is to make the Kenya team to the World Cross Country Championships in Poland.
The 2010 world cross country champion Joseph Ebuya is also in the race. Obuya seems to have rediscovered his form as it was evident in the local cross country series, and will be looking to stamp his authority in the Forces event.
Ebuya finished a disappointing 24th in the last year's event but looks to be regaining his old swagger. He can't also be ruled out if his performance in the AK/KCB cross country series is anything to go by.
Another seasoned campaigner Linus Chumba will also be hoping to build on his sixth place finish at last year's event with a place on the podium.
However, he will have to shake off the likes of Vincent Kiprop, the 2011 senior men's world cross senior bronze medallist. Kiprop is seeking to be included in the Forces team for the national championships with the focus on the world event.
In the women's event, world marathon bronze medallist Sharop Cherop will defend her title. She, however, faces a tough battle against Linet Chepkurui, Jemimah Chelagat, Veronica Nyaruwai and Double Africa champion Gladys Cherono. There will also be a 15-km road race in which Laikipia Airbase are the defending champions.