TRURO'S Annabel Gummow has revealed that she will be soon heading to Africa for a spell of intense training at altitude after announcing her return to competition with an emphatic victory in London.
Racing for the first time in four months following a bad injury the 19-year-old junior international from Truro finished top woman at the Park Run 5k in Bushy Park, west London, on Saturday.
Gummow clocked a respectable time of 17mins 21secs for the distance to place her 11th overall in the mixed field but more importantly for her it marked the beginning of her comeback after a summer she would rather forget.
In addition she can now forge ahead with plans to travel to Kenya in two weeks for a training camp funded by UK Athletics and step up her preparations for the European Cross Country Championships trials which will mark the last time she is able to compete in the under 20 women's age group.
"I am just so glad to be back running again as I seem to have been out for a long time," said Gummow.
"I had to have ten weeks off completely when it was diagnosed that I had a stress fracture of the knee and even when I started back I was worried that I still had a few aches and pains.
"But the doctors said it was just a bit of tightness, that I would be fine and that I can slowly begin to build up my fitness."
Gummow's injury forced her to miss the entire track season and with it the chance of competing in the World Junior Championships. That was tough for the former Penair School and Truro College student but rather than dwell on the negatives she is looking to the future with optimism.
"It was one thing after another this summer but I am better now and hopefully everything will be positive from now on and I believe I will come out of this stronger," added Gummow.
"I am off to Kenya in less than two weeks with a small group of British woman, including Charlotte Purdue (fellow junior international) and I am really excited about that.
"I can build up my training for the trials in Liverpool next month because I would like to finish my career as an under 20 with a blast and it would be great to win a medal at the Europeans.
"That's the target but we'll see what happens before then."