Guelph's other marathon hope in the Olympics, Eric Gillis, also has a title to defend this month.
He's heading to B.C. this weekend for the Vancouver Sun Run 10K, where he'll try to once again win the high-profile race after becoming the first homegrown Canadian in 13 years to do it last year.
Gillis, 31, won the 2011 Sun Run in 29 minutes and six seconds, narrowly beating Kenyan native Kip Kangogo, the 2010 winner, and Dylan Wykes. Wykes is the Kingston, Ont., native now living in Vancouver who is also vying to qualify for the marathon in the Olympics.
Gillis told the Vancouver Sun his mind is on bigger things right now - like the Games.
"I feel like I can be competitive ... I definitely feel like I've got the experience and can handle the pressure," Gillis said.
"But I'm not really thinking about goals because I'm not on the team just yet. I'm waiting until it's official ... to nail down my goals and what I want to do there."
Canada can send three marathoners to London. Only Reid Coolsaet and Gillis have qualified so far, but Speed River teammate Rob Watson of Guelph, whose best is 2: 16, and Wykes, whose personal best is 2: 12: 39, will try one last time to qualify by running the Rotterdam Marathon on April 22.
Wykes, who ran 1: 02: 38 and 1: 04: 22 half-marathons this year, tried to make the Olympic standard at Japan's Lake Biwa Mainchuri Marathon in March. He dropped out at 25 kilometres because of a stomach problem.
With Wykes not running the Sun Run this year, Gillis' main competition will once again come from Kangogo and fellow Kenyans, Willy Kimosop and Kibet Rutto, according to the newspaper. Kangogo and Kimosop, the 2009 champion in 29: 04 and fifth last year, both live in Lethbridge, Alta.
Two other Canadian contenders are Torontonians Matt Loi-selle and Rejean Chiasson, who ran last year's Toronto Water-front Marathon in 2: 16: 01 and 2: 17: 48.
I'll have a full profile on Gillis later this spring.