Susan Partridge will be back in a Team GB and NI vest this weekend at the World Half Marathon Champs – seven months on from her fine 10th place finish in the marathon at the World Champs in Moscow.
And, while Partridge won’t set a specific target for this Saturday’s race in Copenhagen, improving on the 22nd place she landed in the World Half in 2012 would certainly be a major goal.
The bigger picture, of course, is the longer distance at Glasgow 2014 in the summer with Susan somehow managing to juggle high level competition with work at the University of Leeds and training commitments.
‘I ran the World Half in Bulgaria about 18 months ago and finished 22nd,’ recalled Susan, selected last September by Team Scotland for the Commonwealth Games.
‘It was not exactly a terrible run but I came away a little disappointed. It was my best finish in a World half at the time – I’d been to a couple before that.
‘I’d expected more at that time and I ran 71 minutes in Cardiff the following week which confirmed to me that I could have done that little bit better(71.10 in Cardiff and 73.55 in Bulgaria).
‘So it was a bit of blip in a sense and I’d love Copenhagen to be faster than that day in Bulgaria. This is the kind of level of competition I need.
‘In terms of fitness and readiness, I’d a long-term Achilles problem and I decided to get it sorted out between the Great South Run and Christmas. So I have only really been back in full training since early in 2014.
‘It was a bit of a race against time, therefore, to do the World Half and at one stage I was scheduled to do altitude training in Boulder at this point in the year. I’ve now pushed that back into June.
‘I’ve used a couple of races recently to get fit a bit quicker and hopefully it has worked.
‘I may do some 10ks in May and see how they go and maybe cut my PB if possible. But the main focus is still the marathon at Glasgow 2014 and Copenhagen should help me towards that.
‘After Moscow last summer it was a full year through to Glasgow so this is a nice chance to represent GB again and compete against top class international athletes.
‘It is important to have targets. I wanted some focus for 2014 before Glasgow so this has become that in my competition plan.’