Lynette McRae makes no bones she is a plodder.

But she's a plodder with perseverance. Today will be the second time she has taken on the Tarawera Trail Marathon but this time she's going to be at the finish line before the cut-off time.

McRae took up running four years ago and since then, has run the Rotorua Marathon as well as the Tarawera event.

"I've always said I'm not the fastest runner but I like to think I can go the distance," McRae said. "If I start something I like to finish it."

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And while she and her running companion did finish the trail marathon last year, they were 15 minutes outside the required 2.30pm finish.

"We arrived at the Buried Village at 2.45pm and a lot of screaming and crying ensued."

McRae said although she trained hard for the event, a couple of unforeseen things meant she struggled to keep within the allotted time.

"I forgot my timing device that records my race splits so I had no idea how I was progressing and, because the weather was pretty grotty, I hadn't anticipated how muddy and slippery the course would become from everyone in front of us.

"When we got to the Green Lake I asked race officials how we were going for time but they didn't know. I thought if we literally ran for our lives from Blue Lake to the Buried Village we'd be okay, but that wasn't the case."

More training has been done in preparation for today's race and, according to McRae, she has attached her timing devices to her arm.

"And I'm not taking them off until the race is over," she laughed.

Included in her build-up has been a week of positive affirmations.

"I've been telling myself all week that I will be at that finish line before the cut off."

Running with the same companion as last year, McRae has also invited another friend to join them. "I don't think she'll be too happy with me today."