TANIA Nevill pounds the pavement around Mepunga East in the early hours of the morning when many are still tucked up in bed.
The avid runner, preparing for her first marathon, admits her family thinks she’s “a bit mad”.
Nevill runs on the roads — her family’s 190-hectare dairy farm is “very muddy and there’s too many holes you’d do an ankle” — taking different routes to mix up the routine.
“I think I like it because I can do it when it suits me,” she said.
“I like the freedom of getting out and running at my own pace.”
The mother of four will swap the flat Western District roads around her property for a city challenge on Sunday week — the Melbourne Marathon.
Nevill is committed to tackling Victoria’s most renowned long-distance running race.
She’s completed the event’s half-marathon and knows what to expect when she battles the 42.2-kilometre distance on October 12.
“The last time in the half-marathon I ran along Beaconsfield Parade it was really windy and horrible,” she said.
“So I am hoping it’s not windy. It was really slow.
“Everyone (no matter what distance you were running) started at the same time and as the 10-kilometre people were peeling off I was wishing I was peeling off too.”
Nevill, 38, has been running for 10 years and “been quite serious the past 18 months”.
She ran her first half- marathon six years ago.
“I wasn’t sure what to do this year and John Keats from Warrnambool started a marathon group and he was giving advice on how to get started,” she said.
“I haven’t run the full distance. Thirty-seven kilometres is the most I have run and I am hoping the last five on race day will just come.
“I want to break four hours and I am confident I can, provided everything is good on race day.”
Nevill, who has raised more than $1000 for National Centre for Farmer Health as part of her training, lives on her Mepunga East property with husband Mark and children Callum, 9, Matilda, 7, Hayden, 5, and Kieran, 3.
Her parents Neville and Wilma Wallace live in the farm’s second house — there are three on the land in total — but are retired now and are often travelling. She said they were all supportive of her running pursuit.
“The rest of my family think I am a bit mad,” she joked. “My dad, when I go on runs, rides his bike and keeps me company.”
Nevill runs five days a week, sometimes clocking up to 60 kilometres on the familiar roads that surround her farm.
Visit melbournemarathon2014.gofundraise.com.au/page/nevillt to donate to her fund-raising cause.