It has been a long road back for Stephanie Twell but in Guadalajara on Sunday she can take another big step to showing she is back to best.
Great Britain’s Twell runs for Aldershot, Farnham and District in the 52nd European Champion Clubs Cup Cross Country in what has been a fine winter for her.
After finishing seventh in the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Samokov last month - as teammates Gemma Steel won the senior 8km and Kate Avery was second - Twell celebrated team gold as she was the third best British finisher in the race.
Now 25, she is very much in the second part of her career.
It was back in 2006 that Twell emerged as one of the sport’s leading young stars when she won the junior race at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in San Giorgio su Legnano, a title she would retain 12 months later in Toro and by the time she had made it a hat-trick in Brussels in 2008, she was the world junior 1500m champion.
Watch Stephanie Twell cross the finish line for her third consecutive title in Brussels back in 2008:
She then progressed to win 1500m bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 but in 2011 and 2012 injury struck and she ended up missing the Olympic Games in London.
As she showed with her determination in Samokov, she is running well again and will look to maintain that in an event which sees the host nation have two teams in Atletismo Santutxu and Club Dental Seoane Pampin while Sara Moreira, the triple European team cross country gold medallist, runs for Sporting Clube de Portugal.
The women’s senior race is over 6km and the men run 10km as Spain’s Bikila Atletismo are chasing a hat-trick of titles from this club competition of national champions.
Last year in Albufeira, Turkish club Kocaeli Darica dominated the junior men’s race as their athletes took the first four positions and this time in the 6km event they are represented by Ramazan Karagoz, Sehmus Sarihan, Omer Tuncer and Ridvan Yilmaz.
A year ago Sport Club Luch-Flano just beat Hasselby SK in the junior women’s race - 20 points to 28 - and over 4km the two clubs meet again.