Mr Price Athletics Club runner Poppy Mlambo aims to do well this time around when she lines up for the Nedbank Matha Series 20km race in Pretoria on January 19.
Last season, the SA Marathon reigning champion came second to the winner, Mamorallo Tjoka, who hails from Lesotho.
Mlambo said yesterday: "It is not going to be an easy task to challenge a runner of Tjoka's calibre, who has collected countless titles this season.
"But it would be encouraging to start my 2008 running programme on a positive note by bagging the title.
"I will also use this event to fine tune my performance ahead of the prestigious SA Marathon, billed for Durban on February 10."
In the men's category, Shadrack Hoff, also of Mr Price, is expected to defend his title for the second time in a row.
Meanwhile, the seventh edition of the Dis-Chem Half Marathon will take place in Bedfordview on January 13.
The marathon continues to receive accolades for its efficient organisation and operation and this year's race also includes the Rehidrat 5km fun run.
The race also reflects the highlight of Dis-Chem's "be seen, be safe" safety awareness campaign, which focuses on the importance of runners taking responsibility for their own safety when running on the roads.