Jon Brown believes he can end the year on a high in Sunday's New York City Marathon despite the injuries and illnesses which have ruined his season.
Brown had to pull out of the Great North Run
The Canadian-based Briton said: "I feel I'm in decent shape so barring disaster, I should run competitively."
World record holder Paul Tergat and last year's winner Hendrick Ramaala of South Africa head an awesome field.
But 2003 New York and 2005 London winner Martin Lel of Kenya pulled out on Saturday with a leg injury.
Brown missed both the World marathon and half marathon championship races this year.
Then a disappointing performance in the BUPA Great North Run saw him withdraw from the 13-mile race on 1 October.
But the 34-year-old set a new personal best when finishing sixth in last April's Flora London Marathon.
"Training has gone fairly well for this one, similar to London this year," Brown said.
He added: "The NYCM course is a good one for me with its hills. If I'm in the group after 16 miles then I should run well in the later stages."
John Mayock, after a distinguished track career, will make his marathon debut and is hoping some hard work will pay off over the very tough course.
"I've trained very hard for this race and I'm hoping I will do myself justice although really I don't know what to expect," he said.
"It is my intention to perform well as quite a few people have doubted my ability to run a good marathon."
Mark Carroll, who set his personal best of 2:10:54 when sixth behind Lel in New York three years ago, heads the Irish challenge.