Mitchell Smith wasn't sure how he'd reward himself after winning Sunday's Rhino Ramble marathon at the Dubbo Stampede, but he was certain it would not involve basmati rice.
In what was just his second marathon, the Dubbo boy returned home and took out the hugely popular Stampede's feature event in just under three hours.
As exciting as the win was, getting to change up his eating plans after all the preparation was something Smiith was also looking forward to.
"I don't know how I'll treat myself yet, but it won't be basmati rice because I've been eating basmati rice for the last four days straight," he said after the 42.2km event.
"Breakfast, lunch and dinner. That's no lie so it definitely won't have rice in it.
"Probably pizza and a beer or something like that."
Dedication is something needed if for anyone wanting to be a successful marathon runner and Smith is well on his way.
It was only roughly 18 months ago he started taking his running to the next level and while Sunday was just his second marathon he has contested a number of half marathons and smaller events.
A 12-week training block was what Smith used in the lead-up to the Stampede, but it was about much more than just getting out and running.
"You basically have to give up your weekends completely because at least one of those you run a long run and that's three hours out," he said.
"You've got to give up a lot of eating habits because you have to worry about what you eat before it, what you eat after it.
"Your weeks are pretty tough as well because you work or go to uni or whatever it is and then you've got to get up and go for you run either in the morning or arvo.
"It's four or five days a week running and then two days a week in the gym as well."
Smith is currently in his final year at university at Wollongong, having previously lived his whole life in Dubbo.
Winning his home marathon wasn't something he expected, even approaching the final 10km on Sunday, but getting to share the moment with a number of family and friends present added to the occasion.
"That was pretty good," he said.
"It's a different experience coming out home and the running the local one but it was fun, enjoyable.
"It does mean a little bit (being at home). Probably a bit more than I'd like to admit. I didn't expect it at all."
Smith was running second when the field hit the 30km milestone but in what is always the most gruelling part of a marathon, it was he who lifted and went on to win in a time of 2:58:54.
"They reckon a marathon doesn't start until 30kms, that's when you start racing," Smith said.
"I had that in my head the whole time and knew when I got to 30 I had tot ry and push a button and hold on and it came good.
"The training shone through a bit."
Last year's Gold Coast Marathon was Smith's first long distance event while the Stampede was his first big event after three months of sickness kept him sidelined around the New Year.
Scott Brakenridge finished second in the marathon while John Morris was third.
As impressive as Smith's win was, it was close to 20 minutes behind the record time set last year by Sydney runner Keith MacPherson.
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