Sonia O'Sullivan's world 10 miles record in yesterday's BUPA Great South Run may have proved another decisive step towards convincing the Olympic 5,000 metres silver medallist to run in November's New York Marathon.
The Irishwoman won around the seaside roads of Portsmouth in 51 minutes dead, suggesting that she is steering a course for the Big Apple on 3 November.
Yet even after slicing 16 seconds off Colleen De Reuck's previous world 10 miles best, O'Sullivan remained tight-lipped about her marathon career.
However, New York, where O'Sullivan has close ties with the organising committee, is looking the likeliest location and after Sunday's performance the 32-year-old gave the strongest indication yet that she is seriously considering the trip. "Of course the win and the time has told me a lot," she said.
O'Sullivan thrashed her rivals, with Commonwealth 10,000m bronze medalist Susie Power of Australia finishing second in 52 minutes 52 seconds while fellow Australia Natalie Harvey was third in 54 minutes dead.
"There was a very quick start to the race," O'Sullivan, who ran the first mile in 4min 56sec, said. "I was straight into my rhythm and was immediately running freely.
"I knew it was a fast venue and I was able to maintain an almost constant pace. I wasn't thinking of the world record until the later stages. I always felt there was the possibility of breaking Liz McColgan's record and that was my major intention," added O'Sullivan, who ran the last mile in four minutes 48 seconds.
O'Sullivan, who won silver medals in the 5,000m and 10,000m at the European Championships before halting her track season to focus on road running, missed the world five kilometres record by two seconds in London on 1 September. On 22 September she takes on Paula Radcliffe over 10km in Richmond Park, then takes part in the BUPA Great North Run on 6 October and the Great Ireland Run a week later.
"I've now got a fast 10 miles time and I'll be aiming to run under 70 minutes for a half marathon in the Great North Run," O'Sullivan said. "That will tell me a lot more about my shape."
In the men's race, Simon Kisamili won for the second time in four years from Matt O'Dowd of Swindon and Bristol's Ben Noad. The Kenyan outsprinted O'Dowd to win by two seconds in 47min 27sec.