Ponsonby woman Nicky Cameron's running group is a huge part of the 49-year-old legal executive's life.
But when a scan in January 2017 led to a breast cancer diagnosis that threatened to slow her down, she realised she'd "forgotten to live".
"All I was doing was working and I realised I needed to stop and start living again," Cameron shares.
Six weeks after the diagnosis, Cameron was having chemotherapy to shrink the tumours ahead of surgery.
"The hardest part was telling my parents I had cancer and the loss of my hair which fell out after the first round of chemo," she says.
Back-to-back chemotherapy and radiation treatment followed over 2017-2018. Thanks to the treatment funded by a family member and then an operation, she beat the cancer and is "grateful to be alive".
"You know, there was a moment where I went outside and stopped to feel the rain on my face. It really is the little things," Cameron reflects.
It was this realisation that life is so short that fueled her fire to get running again.
"When I was going through my treatment, I would walk alongside my running group. Before that, I would be running 8km a few times a week," she says.
Now nearly three years after her diagnosis, Cameron is set to run the New Zealand Sotheby's International Realty Queenstown Marathon on November 21 - all 42.2 km.
The marathon will see runners take in the scenes of Arrowtown, the Twin Rivers trail, and Lake Wakatipu among other landmarks.
She signed up earlier this year before Covid threw everything into uncertainty.
While most marathons take four to five hours to complete, Cameron will be "stoked" with any time under six. "I know I will have to walk some of it," she says.
She says getting over the finish line will be thanks to Auckland running coach Wiremu Jones, her running group and to her close friend and "sidekick" Sophie Hall, with whom she's been running for seven years.
"She [Hall] has been with me through the whole journey," Cameron says. "We always run together" - and now they'll run the marathon side by side.
"I told her I was running the marathon and she said, 'Do you want me to come with you, we'll do what you've got to do'?"
Cameron was overwhelmed at how many people rallied around her with support during her treatment and encouraged her to keep running.
Her family, friends and the legal firm where she works - Grove Darlow & Partners - "definitely had my back", she says.
"I never let the cancer define me and I have a lot of people to thank for their support."
Cameron's "don't just talk about it, put it into action" philosophy is the reason she's made it this far, she says - and she hopes her story will inspire others.
"If I can get one person to walk to the end of their road and back and just get moving, then I'd be happy with that.
"If you open your eyes when you wake up in the morning and you can get up and move, move."