Stawell’s Sarah Blizzard will use the Australian Athletic Championships in Sydney at the weekend to prepare for the Stawell Gift.
Blizzard will compete in the national 100-metre and 200m heats on Friday with the finals set for Saturday.
She said her preparation has been positive.
"It has been good, I have been running really well and getting some strong sessions in under my belt,” she said.
“I have already done the two sessions for this week.
“Once I drive there, it will just be relaxed, loosen up and see how I go.”
The championships will give Blizzard a good idea of where her form is at, two weeks out from the Stawell Gift.
Any race leading up to the Stawell Gift will be good preparation for me- Sarah Blizzard
The University of Canberra student said she was not worried about having two major meets scheduled so close together.
"Last year we had the Stawell Gift on the Monday then the Nationals starting on the Friday,” she said.
“There are plenty of meets each weekend where we have to back up and recover quickly in between.”
The two week period in between the two events will give Blizzard enough time to recover and get some extra training in before travelling to Stawell.
She expects the championships to provide a big challenge for her.
"Any race leading up to the Stawell Gift will be good preparation for me,” she said.
“I am sure my race will be stacked, and that just pushes me to run a faster time.”
With the Gift two weeks away, Blizzard said it is hard sometimes not to just look ahead to that.
"It still seems like it is a long way away but it is only a couple of weeks away,” she said.
"I am really looking forward to it, I always love competing at Stawell.
“And it is a good chance to see my family and friends and the cats.”
Blizzard is in a rare vein of form at Stawell, having qualified for the last three consecutive Women’s Gift finals.
She said it has been a pretty successful run in her home town during the past three years.
“If I made the final again, it would be pretty awesome,” she said.
“We have looked it up and we do not think it has been done before.
I am just really hungry for the win, that means more than the $40,000 prize money.”
Blizzard will add the 70m open and 70m women’s events to her schedule at Stawell this year.
The race additions come after she won the 70m open final at the Ballarat Gift on February 4.
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