I’m a marathoner: in 2009, I completed 7 marathons, ranging in finishing time from 3:29:36 to 6:42:15. Why the big discrepancy? Every race is different.
There are external factors: course and weather, as well as internal factors: training, nutrition, mindset. And all can have an huge impact on the end result.
When you look at a campaign out in the wild: either one you’ve done yourself, or something you’ve seen a competitor take on, don’t assume you can replicate the success. Certainly, you can learn what works and what doesn’t, but there are so many different factors, there are no guarantees.
Frankly, the excitement and challenge of the unknown is what keeps me in the race.