JO MURPHY has said that reaching the top of the Scottish rankings is a target after starring at the IAU (International Association of Ultra runners) 100K World Championships.

The Crossgates ultra runner was part of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland women's team that took part in the prestigious event, which was held in Berlin, last month, helping them to a fifth place finish overall.

In addition, Jo, 35, also enjoyed an individual 14th place in the women's race, posting a new personal best time of seven hours, 38 minutes and 10 seconds into the bargain.

That surpassed her previous best effort if 7:41.12, which she recorded in April at the Anglo Celtic Plate competition in Perth, where she also won both the Scottish and British 100k titles that were incorporated within it.

Those successes secured her place in the GB team, and moved her into third in the Scottish rankings, whilst her achievements in Germany have elevated her to fifth in the British standings.

"It's only been four months since Perth and, whilst I thought I was probably in the same shape as Perth, I didn't think that I had improved," she said.

"A three-minute improvement; I know it doesn't sound like a massive amount, but it's quite a bit every mile. It's maybe four seconds a mile.

"Maybe I can keep climbing up. The Scottish rankings, I've not moved up them, but I genuinely think I could bring it down to the 7:30-ish mark and get to the top of the Scottish rankings if I continue improving on my performances and learning from them.

"That is definitely a long-term goal for me to be honest, just to keep improving and try and maybe make some kind of history a wee bit.

"It would be quite nice."

Jo, who was watched on in Berlin by her brother, who she said was "tearing up" as she ran her final lap of the race, and a couple of pals, said that was the moment when she realised she was in line to claim a new PB.

Although she said she had "absolutely no regrets" after leaving "everything out there on the course", she revealed that she wished she had entered the women's V35 race – as her time would have been a winning one.

"My one regret is that we had the opportunity to enter the masters event but, I'm a bit of a stingy Scot. It was £100 to enter, so I thought there's no point me entering that, I'm not going to win anything!" Jo continued.

"That would have been lovely because that may never come around for me again, but I'm happy with my time, I'm happy with my position.

"I would've got gold, so I should have entered, but hindsight's a great thing. I think maybe I should have a bit more confidence in myself before an event like this!"

As for what's next for Jo, who described running 100k as a "beautiful but brutal distance", rest and recovery is the initial focus for the remainder of this year, with the possibility of a marathon and a 100-mile track race in the early part of 2023.

There is also a 100k European Championships next year, as well as a 24-hour World Championship, and Jo added: "I've got the same dilemma I had this year - do I do 24 hours, or do I do 100k?

"I'd initially thought I would do the world 24 hour champs next December if I can get a spot, because I think I've still got a qualifier for that, but then I'm thinking, should I maximise the speed? I'm still young, I've still got the pace, maybe I should utilise that on the 100k now?

"I was thinking I'll do the World 100k, knock that on the head because I wasn't sure how much progression I had in myself but, now I've got a little bit of a PB there, I'm thinking maybe the Euros next year."