Kilbarchan AAC ace Callum Hawkins is ready to step up his preparations for the 2019 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in September with a half-marathon in the Czech Republic this weekend.

The new Scottish marathon record holder ended a 34-year wait for a new fastest time by a Scot over the classic distance as he clocked 2.08.14 when finishing tenth in the London Marathon in April.

And, having taken a short break, 26-year-old Hawkins has resumed training following confirmation of automatic selection for the World Champs where, in a bid to beat the intense heat, the marathon will begin at midnight.

READ MORE: Callum Hawkins earns automatic Team GB World Championship selection

“I’m selected for Doha and that’is the main target for 2019,” said Hawkins, who was fourth in the 2017 World Championships. “It will be warm out there but they have put the start of the marathon to midnight to try to help with that. The main thing is there won’t be any sunshine because, as I’ve discovered, that can be the worst element.

The Gazette: Hawkins heads to Czech Republic this weekend as he targets success in DohaHawkins heads to Czech Republic this weekend as he targets success in Doha

“I’m racing again next in the Czech Republic in a half-marathon on June 15. It’s an evening start-time but the last time I was there for this race, at the same time of year, it was 27 degrees.”

Hawkins, of course, had collapsed in the final stages of the Commonwealth Gold Coast 2018 marathon some 12 months prior to exorcising those ghosts with that superb run in London earlier this year.

However, the Elderslie star insists that his collapse didn’t affect his preparations or mindset ahead of breaking the Scottish record – and reckons he can go even quicker.

“To be honest, it didn’t feel like a huge mental barrier to complete the race in London,” he added. “I was really just thinking and concentrating more on trying to run fast, rather than just finishing.

READ MORE: Hawkins smashes Scottish record at London Marathon

“Having said that, I did have a wee wobble at the 40k point and my head just went a bit for a moment.

“I really just had to grind out the last 2k and get it done.

“I had come out beforehand and said publicly I was looking to get a new Scottish record and a top 10 finish in London and, in the end, that’s what happened – even though I took the record by over a minute and I do feel I can go even quicker.”

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