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Marshall hopeful this is his year

Red-hot favourite: Marshall is finally in the running to win on May 24

Lamont Marshall is in the “shape of his life” as he resumes his bid for a maiden Appleby Bermuda Half-Marathon title.

The 31-year-old has ticked all the boxes in his preparations for next week’s 13.1-mile race from Somerset to Bernard Park, and is among the favourites to win in the absence of six-times winner Chris Estwanik, who has been ruled out through injury.

“Lamont is looking for a good race and feels very good this year,” said Marshall’s father and coach, Larry Marshall Sr. “He has had some very good training sessions, hill work and is feeling very good going into the race.”

Marshall has finished runner-up in the prestigious race on several occasions, including last year when the race started in St George’s.

His personal best over the distance stands at 1hr 12min 24sec, which he achieved in 2010. That’s four minutes slower than the course record Estwanik set in 2008.

“We’re hopeful this will be Lamont’s year,” Marshall Sr continued. “He is feeling really strong going into the race and wants to put his best foot forward, which is all you can really do on the day.”

Although he is among the pre-race favourites, Marshall will have his work cut out competing against the likes of Stephen Allen, Chayce Smith and Tyler Smith.

Marshall does not have to look far for inspiration as elder brother Larry Marshall Jr, who is also competing in next week’s race, won the event in 2007 and is fresh off an impressive display over the 10K distance in Virginia last month.

“Larry is feeling good as well,” Marshall Sr said. “He has been injured for like six or seven years so this is the first time he has been injury free for an extended period of time.”

Lamont Marshall is also looking to qualify for this summer’s Rio Olympic Games in the 3,000 metres steeplechase.

He achieved his best time of 8:58, which was 28 seconds shy of the qualifying standard, competing in Florida last month.

“We realise that 28 seconds is a tall order, but that’s what he’s going for,” Marshall Sr said. “He has a couple of races lined up at the end of June and one in July. So, he will have two bites of the cherry and we’re pretty confident he can make the standard, or come very close to it.”