The Aldershot athlete is aiming for a strong performance in Germany to put her in contention for a Commonwealth Games marathon spot

Lily Partridge says she is feeling fit and strong ahead of the BMW Berlin Marathon, where she hopes her performance will put her in contention for a place on the England team for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

The 26-year-old (pictured above, left) continued her preparations for Berlin at the recent Simplyhealth Great North Run half-marathon, where she clocked 72:10 to finish as second Briton and seventh overall.

Partridge doesn’t feel that performance over the route between Newcastle and South Shields is demonstrative of where she is at ahead of her next marathon, however.

“It is what it is,” says Partridge, who clocked 2:32:09 when making her marathon debut in Seville in February. “I would have liked faster. I haven’t felt as fit as I am in a couple of years. I feel really strong, I feel really fit.

“I thought I was capable of going 71-low but maybe on a less windy day that might have happened.

“I forgot how hilly it was in the second half!” she adds, explaining how she has struggled with hills in this marathon build-up.

“I came into it having had an Achilles problem so I wasn’t able to do the hills early on in the build-up, I was really cautious,” she says. “So I don’t know if that has played a part, the fact that I haven’t done hills in quite a while.

“I supplemented it with more gym work and things like that but I think practicing running up hill, you just can’t substitute it properly.

“As far as I’m aware, there are no hills in Berlin!”

Partidge’s aim in Germany on September 24 is a time of 2:30 or quicker, as she believes that is what it will take to be considered for Commonwealth Games selection ahead of the Gold Coast event next April.

“Berlin is the last opportunity,” she says. “I’m going to have to go under 2:30 if I want to go to the Commonwealths. That is the first goal.

“I’d like to go faster than that but the primary goal is to run under 2:30 for the Commonwealths.

“Then it will possibly be either the Europeans or the Berlin Marathon next year, dependent on how things go,” she adds. “The Europeans are in Berlin so it will be Berlin either way, it’s just whether it’s in August or September!”

» Read more about Lily Partridge’s performance and other Simplyhealth Great North Run action in the September 14 edition of AW magazine