After the pain of missing past targets, including Olympic Games selection, Newcastle runner Vlad Shatrov refused to set lofty goals for his first Tarawera Ultramarathon 100-miler in New Zealand last Saturday.
And after setting a hot pace, he knew his rivals were waiting for him to fade.
But the 41-year-old also knew that "nothing was going to stop me".
Shatrov dominated the race, completing the more than 160-kilometre trail run in 15 hours, 53 minutes and 30 seconds - 55 minutes in front of his nearest competitor and more than 25 inside the race record.
The field started in darkness at 4am and Shatrov was the only 100-mile runner to finish in daylight. He said the course was also "three or four kilometres" longer than last year when American Jeff Browning set the record.
It was an amazing effort from the Kahibah athlete who had won several 100km races but had never tackled the pinnacle distance of ultramarathon trail running.
Shatrov has competed in trail events for about eight years but focused on the discipline after missing Rio Olympic marathon selection in 2016 despite running a qualifying time.
He won the 110km Brisbane Trail Ultra last July but struggled over 100km in Cape Town last December when ill. Shatrov said he kept the same front-running game plan from South Africa but he had no idea how he would handle the extra distance.
"I had big races, like South Africa and not getting into the Olympics, where I thought, this really hurts," Shatrov said of his goal at Tarawera.
"You get disappointed. So I told a few people that I just want to get on the podium.
"Within two minutes I was out by myself and I could hear the guns from America behind me going, this pace is a bit hot, so we're going to sit back and not hurt. But I thought, I feel good, so I'm just going to keep going.
"I just had so much fun. I was smiling - I was hurting - but I was so happy because I could feel it coming together during the day. I knew nothing was going to stop me."
Shatrov had raced the 100km event at Tarawera but "always thought I was better at longer anyway".
"I thought it was a good opportunity because it's probably one of the best milers in the world," he said.
"It's a good course, well-supported and a professional environment, and it's one of the most competitive milers. They get a lot of funding for the event so they fly in athletes from America and Europe, so I was like, if I'm going to do this, I want to see if I can mix it with these guys.
"I didn't know how I was going to go, but I just went and stuck to my guns and it was just such an amazing result for me."
Shatrov returned home on Monday and will this Sunday turn race director for his own event, the second annual Coastal Ascent, which starts and finishes at Dixon Park.
The Coastal Ascent will include 25km, 11km and Kids Beach Bolt events, as well as a new 5km race for beginners and juniors.
Shatrov said the event was an opportunity for him to give back to the sport and give people a taste of trail running.
His next race will likely be the 100km Ultra Trail Australia in May in the Blue Mountains.