Mo Farah admits the proposition of a debut London Marathon against an all-star line-up fills him with trepidation as the reigning double Olympic and world champion chases a British record on Sunday.
Farah will attempt to reproduce his track dominance on the road in his maiden outing on the 26.2m course which sees him compete in the capital for the first time since the London Anniversary Games last summer.
In pursuit of Steve Jones' British record which has stood at 2 hours 7min since 1985, Farah faces the daunting prospect of world-record holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya and the fastest man in 2014, Ethiopia's Tsegaye Mekonnen.
The 31-year-old suffered a hitch in preparation for London after falling during the New York half-marathon in March before collapsing at the finish line – a sign of the physical demands placed on the Somalian-born athlete.
Farah, who ran half the distance in 2013, can take solace from Kenenisa Bekele breaking the course record on his debut at the Paris Marathon last weekend but the Briton concedes the distance represents a daunting challenge.
"I am not uncertain at all it's just the distance more than the race," Farah said. "In terms of as a track runner you've been there and you've covered the distance in training and you've got the times and with this one you don't know what is going to happen.
"Every athlete sets a target and that's my aim to go after the British record and hopefully we'll see on Sunday.
"My aim is to sit back and save as much energy as I possibly can. It is strange feeling like a novice. In track races you go to the front, you control the race but I don't know what I'll be doing here.
"I am really excited racing in London and having the fans and the crowd and it just gives me a massive boost and it's what excites me. A race is a race but to have the support of the crowd is great."
Having earned recognition as Britain's greatest-ever distance runner, Farah is risking his exalted status on Sunday as one of four marathon debutants.
Leading from the front and stretching out the field are characteristics of each of Farah's major wins at both the London 2012 Olympic Games and the World Athletics Championships last August in Moscow, but he will be unable to exert such authority on the streets of the capital.
Despite being the stand-out name of the 29-man start-list, Farah begins as a major underdog and is uncertain what the contrasting pressure will bring.
"Obviously I'll go out there and give 110% but it's a challenge and I want to find out what I can do and my aim is to go after the British record, go for it and see what happens," he explained. "The guys could 2 hours 6mins, 2 hours 7mins. I don't know what's going to happen.
"The British record would be the best for me because if you look at the field in terms of the athletes, which athletes in there are in their first marathon?
"Pretty much none, pretty much everyone has done a marathon before and knows how it feels so I am going to be the only one going into his first marathon and be there with these guys. I'll give 100% and while I am not trying to disappoint anyone it's like what can I do?"