Tammy Wilson put 16 months of injury agony behind her with two outstanding performances within less than 24 hours.
The north-east athlete led JS Kintore Running Club to fifth position on the team’s debut appearance in the Scottish North District cross country relay championships at Dores near Inverness.
Wilson finished second on the opening 4km leg of the three-stage women’s race and her time of 15min 52secs was the fourth fastest of the day.
It was a good result but there was better to come the following day, Sunday, when she went on to win the top women’s prize in the Aviemore 10km, recording 36min 46secs, a time bettered only by 12 men in the field of 692 runners.
Wilson admitted to being surprised to have done so well having only been running for a few months since recovering from serious knee and foot problems.
She said: “I have no idea where these performances came from. I’ve had no structured training or speed work since June last year.
“I’ve only done four speed sessions on my own in that time.
“I did the Stirling marathon in May 2017 then the Peterhead 5km in June of that year, but I haven’t been able to race since then.
“last summer I was diagnosed as having a disease in my knee joint and was told I might never be able to run again. I decided to rest it.
“I had about five months when I couldn’t run at all because of it, but then it got better.”
Wilson was relieved to have overcome that potentially disastrous injury but soon sustained another serious setback.
She said: “I started running again but got a stress fracture in my foot.
“That was around the beginning of this year and it wasn’t until June that I got over that.Since then it has been fine.
“I have been leading jogscotland Kintore training sessions for adults and juniors every week and that’s the only running I’ve been doing.”
Many people may have been tempted to ease back into racing after such a long spell on the sidelines but tackling two races inside 24 hours didn’t seem to faze Wilson.
She said: “I loved the cross country race. It was a perfect warm-up for the 10km the next day.
“All of our team who ran the cross country did very well at Aviemore, so it seemed to be ideal preparation. We are now aiming to do more team events and hopefully make our mark.
“We’ll be doing the North championships at Gordonstoun in December then the national championships in February.Everyone is excited about these.”
Wilson’s successes have inspired her to look for further challenges and she has a few short and long-term targets in her head.
She said: “I’ll be running in the Peterhead 10km next month as we have about 40 of our members doing it.
“I think it will give me a more accurate indication of where I’m at as the Aviemore course is mainly downhill so times are always fast.
“I’ve run well at Peterhead before. The course has a good hill in it and I seem to do better on undulating courses.
“But looking beyond that, I’d really like to do another marathon next year.
“I’m not sure if it’s too early to be thinking about that, but I’m keen to try.”