MARLOW marathon runner Samantha Amend has been picked to represent England for the first time.

Her time at the recent London Marathon was good enough for her to be picked for her international debut in Denmark in September.

The 32-year-old will be taking part in an international development meet against the best athletes from England, Denmark and Sweden.

Her selection means Amend takes a step closer to contention for the next Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympics, a long-term aim of hers.

She said: “I was on holiday in Lanzarote when they gave me a call and asked if I’d like to take part and I said yes straightaway.

“It shows how far I have come in the last five years. If you’d have said to me five years ago I would be running for England I would have said it would be a lovely dream.

“I just want to put the England clothes on now.”

The Belgrave Harrier is hoping to complete the race, which takes place in the town of Odense on September 18, in under 2h40m.

Amend completed the London Marathon in 2h44m29s, which meant she was the third woman home outside of the elite group and was the eighth fastest British woman.

But she said: “It [a sub 2h40 time] should have happened but it didn’t because of cramping. It was under par for me.”

Her time means she is currently ranked 11th in England in the marathon and she said: “Now the Commonwealth and Olympics are a possibility if I keep training with more a structure. The main thing I need to do is get quicker over the shorter distances.

“I’ve got the next 12 weeks to get into performance shape. I’m in marathon shape but it’s a lot more technical than people realise.”

As part of her preparations she won the Southend Half Marathon at the weekend in a time of 1h20m10s and will be entering the Wycombe Half next month, but she won’t be running any longer distances before her England debut.

She said: “I’ll be doing a couple of 10ks which will gear me up to be in pristine condition for the race.”

Amend has also organised her first-ever race, the ‘Dash for Dad’ event which raises money for the Saunderton-based Child Bereavement Charity, which takes place at West Wycombe Park at 9.30am on Sunday.