In the countdown to the European Athletics Championships in Zurich this summer, personal landmarks could lead to greater glory.
It is why, come August, if Croatia’s Lisa Stublic wins the marathon in Switzerland, she might look back to last weekend as a key moment.
There is not much doubting that Stublic is Croatia’s greatest woman runner but just to rubber-stamp her position she has delivered another impressive display.
Stublic won the 10,000m at the Croatian Championships in Sinj in 33:17.91, a time that broke by 29 seconds the old mark held by Tijana Pavicic for almost 24 years.
It was a superb performance by Stublic who now has an amazing nine national records to her name.
The 10,000m time goes alongside her marks for 5000m (15:59.48), 5km (16:21), 10km (32:57), 15km (49:26), 20km (1:05:38), half-Marathon (1:09:18), Marathon (2:25:44) and 3000m steeplechase (10:09.56).
Five of those times came in the same race when she was third in the New York half-Marathon in 2013, recording the new marks for the 5km, 10km, 15km, and 20km on the way.
But it is the full marathon which has become the big event for the 29-year-old whose national record run arrived when she won the Zurich Marathon last year.
That put her fifth on last year’s European Athletics Rankings and makes her one of the main contenders for a medal at the European Athletics Championships; a repeat performance of that 2:25:44 could even be enough for gold in five months time.
Her run in Sinj is all part of her long, precise build up to the main event of the summer where ticking off markers along the way are so important.
Stublic has achieved that with her 10,000m time, proving the speed is there to go with the endurance.