Lisa Roberston believes it's anyone's guess how she'll go in tomorrow's adidas Auckland Marathon.
The 30-year-old local, who is a police constable, jockey, horse trainer and athlete, is rated by her rivals as the favourite but she said her recent form is largely untested.
"I've kept any racing leading up to this minimal and I haven't put any real pressure on myself so I guess I don't have any accurate form to gauge how I may perform," she said.
Robertson, who won the Auckland Half Marathon last year, returns to the 42.2km race looking to add to the title she won in 2011 in a time of 2:41:56.
"I have been fortunate in that the police have allowed me to drop my hours to help prepare for this so I have had more time than usual to actually do some proper training," she said.
"I have altered my approach to training so this marathon is really an experiment to see if the changes have helped or not."
Dunedin runner Shireen Crump-ton, who won the race in 2010, said "Lisa Robertson would have to be the favourite for the race."
The Scottish-born Crumpton has endured a frustrating year in 2013. "My form has been patchy as I have had a pesky hamstring injury which has kept flaring up every time I tried to increase the intensity of my training," said the 43-year-old post-anaesthetic care and acute pain nurse. Despite her injury, Crumpton still managed to win the NZ Marathon champs in June and the Noumea Marathon in August.
"I would love to win [at Auckland] as it's also the five-year anniversary of my husband's death so that would make it really special for me. I'm injury-free so hoping for a good race."
Also hoping for a good race are the other leading contenders Aussie Kristin Molloy alongside Ady Ngawati who won in 2007 and 2008. There is nowhere else Molloy would rather be.
"I love New Zealand," said the 34-year-old massage therapist from Lake Macquarie. "I said two years ago when I was here I would move here in a heartbeat because the people are just so friendly."
It would mean a huge amount to Molloy to win in Auckland "because then the race organisers would have to invite me back next year".
"I haven't had a good marathon in two years so it would be unreal to win it. Lisa beat me two years ago in her debut marathon, so she has a home ground advantage."
Robertson, who won the Round the Island Road Race in Rarotonga earlier this year, is not getting caught up in the pre-race talk.
"That's the first I've heard of being one of the favourites," she said. "But no, that doesn't add pressure. I'm there to run my own race and win or lose, a bad time or good time, the people that matter to me and understand the effort and training I've put into this will appreciate that I've gone out there, done it and done the best I possibly can at this point in time."