IPSWICH athlete Matt Casos feels at ease and ready to tackle this weekend's Tokyo Marathon.
The experienced distance runner and My Run Club coach has arrived in the city for his sixth marathon on Sunday.
It's Casos first time competing in Asia.
"My training leading up to Tokyo has been very relaxed and I'm using the race as more of an experience rather than aiming for a time or placing," said Casos, 35.
"Times for me are quite irrelevant these days. When I'm fit and strong, I'm still very competitive but most importantly I just love to run.
"Having raced New York marathon in 2011 and then Gold Coast and Melbourne marathons last year, I'm fortunate to be able to be in a position where I can compete in the world's biggest marathons."
Tokyo Marathon is the largest in Asia, rated alongside Boston, Chicago, New York, London and Berlin.
"Tokyo is regarded as the most professionally organised marathon in the world," said Casos (pictured running last year's Melbourne Marathon).
The Ipswich athlete said 730,000 applications were received through a ballot system with a field size capped at 36,000 runners, all competing over a full marathon distance of 42.2km.
His race number on Sunday is 22613. The race is scheduled to start at 10.10am Queensland time.
Casos said it's the only time of the year major streets in Tokyo are closed. "The course is incredible where over a million spectators expected," he said.
"Cool running conditions are predicted with temperatures ranging between zero to 10 degrees on race day.
"That's ideal conditions and should benefit myself coming out of the Australian summer.
"Last year I ran nearly 4000km which is quite a bit for me so I have purposely had a slower start to this year."
Casos' training has been affected in recent weeks by helping out flood victims.
"My main focus has also been on my role with Community Recovery with trying to get Ipswich residents back on their feet after the recent floods,'' he said.
"You quickly realise that a lot of people have been doing it tough and need help."
The former Ipswich Grammar School student travelled to Tokyo with his partner Laurelle.
"She is just so supportive and the reason why I have been able to make such a successful return to marathon running some three years ago," Casos said. "She gave me the confidence and I regained my love for running again, something I'm so grateful for.
"We are a fantastic team together and she is incredibly understanding in what is such a demanding sport.
"I've also had just so many well-wishes from both our families and friends back in Australia."
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