A world record was not on Kelvin Kiptum's mind when he shattered the legendary Eliud Kipchoge's benchmark in Chicago.
There are those days as a runner when everything seems to fall into place and fly.
Kiptum's two-minute and 51-second kilometre pace is a speed most of us might dream of in pushing out for the same marathon distance - 42.2km - on a bike.
While the Kenyan's marathon record of two hours, and 35 seconds has been marvelled with comparisons made the world over, the key is in preparation.
(For those playing at home, Kiptum's 14:26 five-kilometre split is almost one minute faster than the Prince of Wales Parkrun time posted by Shane Grund in August 2023).
Our time is now.
Ballarat has ticked under six months until its first major marathon running festival that will meet world athletics standards for those seeking qualifying times to iconic global events, such as the New York or Chicago marathons.
This is not about matching or even getting close to Kiptum's pace, but ensuring we as a community are prepared to run - whichever distance we choose.
Kiptum had been edging close to Kipchoge's record for more than a year and has said he felt he would be a good chance for a course record in Chicago.
Even in the controversial super shoe era - Kiptum was sporting a Nike prototype - there is still so much that can happen in a marathon distance run, mentally and physically.
The best way to be prepared is to build up the kilometres and get running.
There is no better time than now to start for anyone considering getting on course in the inaugural Ballarat Marathon in April.
Most beginner marathon guides progress through four months. While you could wait until Christmas or New Year, Ballarat has an action-packed November to have you moving.
The inaugural Peach's Run with laps of Lake Wendouree is on November 11, offering a chance for people to chip in one lap or a couple in a team to raise money and awareness for mental health in the legacy of beloved Ballarat teacher James Petrie.
Run for a Cause a week later on November 19 even incorporates the Arch of Victory in new six and 12-kilometre courses from a Lucas base.
In their top tips, Lucas kindergarten children and Run for a Cause children's dash candidates Payton and Rupert have suggested to The Courier prospective runners train with hill sprints and agility running.
And have fun.
Hometown Olympian Steve Moneghetti has said we might not have Kipchoge or Kiptum-level contenders in the inaugural Ballarat Marathon, but there would undoubtedly be an elite Australian contingent chasing the prizemoney.
Moneghetti says, for everyone else, it is the thrill of being out on course chasing top runners and achieving personal goals.
The Ballarat Marathon course has enough turns and double-ups for everyone to see top runners in action and know they have trained for the same ultimate goal - the finish line.
The best way to get there is to start turning over the legs and have some fun along the way.
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