TASMANIAN distance champion Josh Harris is hoping to convert career-best form into a strong result in his marathon debut at the Australian championships on Sunday.
Launceston's world university games representative takes a string of fine results into the titles in Sydney.
The state 5000-metre and 10,000-metre champion claimed an eighth placing at the highly-competitive Australian cross-country championships at Symmons Plains last month.
``Everything has gone to plan in training for the past six months,'' Harris said.
``In periods I averaged up to 180km a week and got a 42km training run out recently, so I know I can cover the distance on my first attempt at it.''
The 23-year-old Exercise Science UTAS student has previously only raced a handful of half-marathons, but has his goals set for Sunday.
``My aim is to head out in about 69-minute pace through halfway, which would put me on target for a sub-2:20 finish time. While that is the goal, it will depend on things like the wind and the other guys in the Australian championship title race. You just never know with a marathon as there are so many variables.''
Tasmanian Institute of Sport athletics coach Peter Fortune said Harris has been training consistently well.
``When he was younger Josh was better known as a steeplechaser but more recently has focused on the flat and competed over 5km at the nationals,'' he said.
``I think he is heading towards running marathons. He's certainly capable of breaking 2 hours 20 minutes and anything under that is borderline international standard. He's still comparatively young and is certainly very dedicated to his running.''
Harris will spearhead the Tasmanian team that also includes Jay Gordon who was the silver medallist in the Tasmanian marathon championships in January.
Fellow Sandy Bay runner Daniel Clarke will be lining up in yet another national marathon championships, with Northern Suburbs runner David O'Brien rounding out the Tasmanian men's team.
Masters athlete Tracey Keating and Deb Ludeke will form the women's Tasmanian team.
Live television coverage of the Sydney Running Festival begins at 7am on TDT.