Charlotte Arter says she will go into this weekend’s Great Stirling XCountry full of confidence - having already broken a world record this year.

In-form Arter, who is originally from Stockdalewath, near Dalston, clocked a time of 15:50 at the Cardiff Parkrun to finish second overall, just one second behind Ben Butler-Madden.

Former Austin Friars School student Arter, who also ended 2018 in fine form as she finished seventh at the European Cross-Country Championships in Tilburg, The Netherlands, is delighted with her recent displays.

The 27-year-old said: “I had my [ankle] injury back in August, so I think, leading up to [the British Athletics Cross Challenge in] Liverpool and the Europeans, I still felt like I was getting back into shape.

"I was obviously fit, and those races went really well, but I didn’t feel like I was in amazing shape.

"Since the Europeans, I have had three really high mileage weeks over Christmas and it takes a couple of races to get back into the swing of things. 

"I just feel like, in the last few races, I have just come into some really good shape. I just need to keep maintaining it, to try not to get injured, and keep going into the New Year.”

Arter’s time in Cardiff improved the previous female Parkrun record of 15:55, which had been set by Hannah Walker in 2013.

“I use the Parkruns quite a lot, leading up to bigger races, just because they are a really good indicator of your fitness and what shape you are in, especially after quite a solid block of training over Christmas,” she said.

"It was a good way to get my legs going to see where I was ahead of the Great Stirling XCountry which is this weekend.

"I felt in good shape leading up to it, and I was just using it as a good run-out. 

"I didn’t know I was going to be breaking the world Parkrun record, or anything like that. I had the course record in my sights because I had held that previously at 16:10, so I thought I could break that, but to get a world record is pretty crazy but I’m very happy.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s race in Stirling, Arter added: “It’s always a good competition. 

"I did it in Edinburgh, and it’ll be interesting to see what the course is like in Stirling, but I’m sure the field will be just as strong as it was two years ago.”