She has set a new Parkrun world record, a new national half-marathon record and finished on the podium in the Vitality Big Half for a second straight year. So, it’s fair to say Cumbrian runner Charlotte Arter hasn’t had a bad start to 2019.

Originally from Stockdalewath, near Dalston, Arter is now based in Wales. The 27-year-old is currently a full-time athlete after she decided to take a break from her role as performance sports officer at Cardiff University in December, in a bid to ensure she maximises her potential.

Having already enjoyed success at events at her “home from home” in Cardiff, Stirling, and then at the Barcelona Half-Marathon this year, Arter travelled to London for Sunday’s Big Half.

Just as she had done last year, the former Austin Friars School student came third in the women’s race, with the event won by Charlotte Purdue. But this time around, 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Steph Twell was the runner-up after Lily Partridge’s second-placed finish in 2018. The men’s event was won by four-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Mo Farah.

With the conditions far from ideal, Arter admitted she was more interested in her position in the capital than a good performance as she ended in a time of 71:44.

“It’s a fun event. It’s always nice to run around the streets of London. There are always good crowds and the route takes in some of the iconic London landmarks, so it’s always quite fun,” she enthuses.

“They had a really good line-up this year, all the top British marathon runners, as well as those stepping up in distance, were there. It was a good calibre of race and it’s always nice to be a part of that.”

She continues: “It makes it all exciting. You want to be racing against the best in the UK. As it [the Big Half] was the British Half Marathon Championships too, you want to be racing the best. 

“So, to be racing against the likes of Steph and Charlotte Purdue, who both are really, really good athletes, I was really happy to get on the podium with them.”

Competing in Barcelona on February 10, Arter improved the previous fastest half-marathon time by a Welsh female by 16 seconds as she finished with a time of 69:40. But she concedes that performance did take a lot out of her as she starts to switch her focus towards the track season.

“Yeah, it’s going well,” Arter says of her year so far. “It took me a while to recover after Barcelona - that was a really hard half-marathon - but to come back after that strongly, hopefully, that will get me ready for the track season.

“That isn’t actually that far away now. I have an easy week this week, then I go back to training next week, and then I’m off to America at the beginning of April. I’m doing a couple of races but I’m mainly going for an altitude camp in Albuquerque. Then, there is a big 10,000m race at the beginning of May, that’s the next big aim, to try and get the world standard for the 10,000m there. 

“That’s not that far away, which is why I have done the road [races], to get a bit more track ready.”

Despite her fine form, Arter, the first Brit across the line at the European Cross-Country Championships in The Netherlands in December as Great Britain’s women’s team claimed silver, reckons she can still improve.

She insists: “Sunday, compared to my time in Barcelona, was quite a bit slower but I guess that was to be expected because of the conditions.

“I’m hoping now I’m going down in distance to 10,000m, what I’ve done over the last couple of months will pay dividends when I hit the track. I’m excited to get back to 5,000m and 10,000m running. I have obviously done well in the half-marathons, but the 10,000m on the track is the real aim this year. I’m hoping all the strengths of the half-marathons will help me to produce some good times on the track.

“I’ve just got to trust the process and what me and my coach, Chris Jones, have been doing. I just need to keep building, each week, each month, keep going and see where I can get to.”

While Arter has been impressing in recent months, Olympian Tom Farrell - a close friend of Arter’s having both attended Austin Friars together - has struggled to make an impact in the last couple of seasons.

He missed the majority of the 2017 athletics season due to “underlying medical issues” before he featured in four races in the United States last year, although is looking forward to getting back on the track this season. 

But Arter says both her and Farrell, also 27, hope they will be able to extend their careers for many years yet.

“We still have quite a few years ahead of us,” she admits. “People are still going in their mid to late 30s, so we have a few years ahead of us, hopefully.”