Alex Teuten is looking forward to an early-season run out for England after being called up for the inaugural Commonwealth Half Marathon Championships.
The athlete, from Southsea, is part of a four-strong national men’s team for the race in Cardiff on Sunday.
He was initially picked as a reserve but after getting the late call-up he’s adjusted his training.
The focus has been on preparing for the Great South Run on Sunday, October 21 and the cross-country battles to come over the winter.
But this opportunity was too good for Teuten to miss and he’s delighted to be representing his nation again.
He said: ‘Although this is not part of the Commonwealth Games itself, it is going to be a good race.
‘It has prestige associated with it.
‘To be called up was a pleasant surprise.
‘When I was selected as a reserve I didn’t really expect to be called up.
‘We’ve got a strong team and it will be good to see where I am at this early stage of the season.
‘Kenya are sending a team and Australia will have a team.
‘The other home nations will be strong, Wales have a very good team.
‘I’ve got no expectations for the race.
‘It would be nice to run a personal best but being a championship the times are not really the focus.
‘There’s no pressure on me, I’m not one of the quicker ones in the England team on paper.
‘I will relax into the race and towards the end we will see what shape I am in.’
Teuten hopes he can represent Great Britain again this winter in the cross-country with the European Championships and the World Championships being the targets.
He achieved a place in the GB team last season.
After the Cardiff race, Teuten will be in his home city for the Great South Run again in Portsmouth.
In 2017 he finished fourth and will hope for another big performance.
He said: ‘Hopefully doing the half marathon in Cardiff will prepare me quite well for the Great South Run.
‘I’ll have to recover well during the week after it.
‘In the past I’ve done four half marathons and usually they have been towards the end of the season when I’ve been just past my peak.
‘This time I’m fresher so we will see how that impacts on my performance.’
Both Ben Connor and Daniel Studley had to withdraw from the England team with Teuten the first to be added.
Tom Wade was also called in while Mohamud Aaden and Matthew Clowes remain from the original four.
International runners from 18 nations will do battle with the prize of the first Commonwealth title over 13.1 miles on offer.
Dewi Griffiths leads an anticipated big home challenge from Team Wales after smashing his personal best to finish fourth in a time of 61.33 last year.
The Cardiff University/Cardiff Half Marathon will prove a familiar stage for Kenyan athlete John Lotiang, who broke the course record at last year’s event in a time of 60min 43sec to take the title.
Lotiang will be joined by team-mates Joseph Nzioki (60.23) and Daniel Muteti (60.54) as the Kenyans chase a second successive clean sweep of the podium places.
Flomena Daniel will lead a strong female contingent after she won marathon gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.