The way Camille Herron talks about the Tarawera Ultramarathon, there was never really any doubt that she would be back in 2018.
Earlier this year, the American long distance runner tackled the event for the first time and it was a successful debut.
Herron was the first woman to cross the finish line in the 102km race and her time of 8h 56m 01s beat the previous women's course record by more than six minutes. She recently confirmed she will compete in the race again next year.
"I tell everybody about this race, it's so beautiful and exotic," Herron said.
"I like all the trees and you can hear the cicadas, the people are great, so I'm really looking forward to coming back. It kind of reminds me of a combination of races in America. It has the Californian trail running, but with exotic forest. Plus, it's halfway around the world for us, it's quite cool to go to New Zealand."
The former 50km and 100km world champion, who also holds the world record for fastest marathon dressed as a superhero, did not have high hopes for herself ahead of this year's Tarawera Ultramarathon, so to win was a "nice surprise".
"I was coming back from an injury, so I thought my fitness and health was only about 75 per cent for that race. I was hoping to come back next year and go faster than my course record, but they've reversed the course so I'm not sure how that will affect our times.
"I really enjoyed the beauty of it all. The course had lots of technical sections which were extremely 'runnable', as well as lots of ups and downs which really played to my strengths as a runner."
She said despite the fact the course suited her strengths, she still had to draw on her mental perseverance to embrace all of the highs and lows of the ultramarathon.
Herron is in good form and had been busy adding more running records to her list. Last month she smashed the women's 100 mile (160.9km) road world record, finishing in a time of 12h 42m 40s, which was more than an hour faster than the previous record.
At the weekend she broke the women's 12-hour track running world record, completing 93 miles (149.6km) on an athletics track in the allotted time.
"I'm pretty fit and feeling good right now so I'm looking forward to going back to New Zealand and trying to run fast."
Prior to running ultra marathons, Herron was a professional marathon runner and was running marathons most weekends.
"I went to the New York City Marathon in 2011 and they started talking to me about running my first ultra in South Africa, that kind of planted the seed for me to try and step it up.
"My first couple didn't go as well as I had hoped and then two years ago I ran my first 100km and I ran it faster than anyone else had in the last eight years. I was pretty blown away, it wasn't a perfect race, but it was like a light shining down on me saying 'this is my calling in life'.
"The Tarawera was a really significant win for me, I'm still new to trail running and I've had a lot of freak accidents. Winning Tarawera was a such big deal because it was my first Ultra-Trail World Tour win."
The 2018 Tarawera Ultramarathon is being held on Saturday, February 10.