When she lined up for the Auckland half marathon in 2010, Danielle Trevis had no idea how she'd go.
About one hour, 10 minutes later, she had comfortably claimed the title by more than three minutes from Nikki Hamblin and in record time for the 21.1km race.
When it comes to debuts, Trevis' maiden appearance at the signature event on the running calendar ranks right up there with the best.
Hamblin, who'd just won two silver medals at Delhi's Commonwealth Games, hooted as the young runner headed for home in front of her.
It was a sign of respect for the talent of Trevis. The Taranaki local, who now lives in Auckland, made a name for herself throughout 2010.
She first caught attention when she created a new mark of 32m 41s in the Sir Barry Curtis 10km, which doubled as the New Zealand road champs, and backed that up with the women's race record of 1m 13.08s in her first half marathon in Auckland.
It was a coming-of-age performance by Trevis (now Danielle Ingram-Trevis) who knows what to expect tomorrow. She has a clear goal.
"I'm hoping to win the race and achieve a new half-marathon PB [personal best 1m 13.08s]," said the 20-year-old, who's coached by respected distance coach Chris Pilone.
If she does that, it'll also set a new record for the race as well as herself.
"I've only raced it once before ... so I went into it relaxed, wanting to just get a good run done."
Ingram-Trevis has had another good year in 2011, which began with her carving nearly a minute off the New Zealand W19 10,000m record in winning the national title.
The then-19-year-old clocked 33m 18.26s to shatter Sonia Barry's 1988 mark of 34m 04.6s. She enjoys the half-marathon course in her adopted city and says it's a race she's been looking forward to.
"I love the atmosphere associated with the event; the finish and the set-up around Victoria Park gets everyone into the race. Crossing the bridge is also pretty cool."
She will face strong competition from Australian Clare Geraghty. Unlike last year, the pressure is on Ingram-Trevis to defend her title while Geraghty is an unknown in the event. The Australian is aiming to finish in the top three tomorrow.
Said Geraghty: "The half marathon is my favourite distance ... I'm looking forward to this event as I've never been to Auckland, so I'm sure the scenery will be refreshing."
Fiona Crombie will contest only the quarter marathon in three weeks after being selected for the NZ Ekiden Relay team.
In the men's half marathon, Hayden McLaren was a favourite but withdrew with an Achilles injury.
Scott Winton, the 2006 winner, and Stephen Lett, who's moved from full marathon to half, are front-runners. Lett's had a great season but will be tested by Alex Parlane, Stefan Smith and Brett Tingay.
* 2011 New Zealand W19 10,000m champion and record-holder, 33m 18.26s
* 2010 Auckland Half Marathon champion and record-holder, 1:13.08
* 2010 Sir Barry Curtis 10km, which doubled as the New Zealand road champs, in record time 32:41
TomorrowMountain biking: RnR Sport/PNP MTB Spring Series: Wellington
Frostbuster 11 Methven: Multisport 8.5km run, 26km cycle, 17km kayak. Duathlon 8.5km Run, 25km cycle, 2km run.
Running: adidas Auckland Marathon, half marathon, quarter marathon, 5km run and walk, and kids' marathon.