Charlie Purdue, the European U20 cross-country champion, has remained on a sharp upward comeback racing spiral as she forced her way into a superb runner-up over 10km at the Great Edinburgh Run on Sunday.

The 20-year-old ‘rocket pocket’ shone in a time of 32:58 under tough rainy conditions to come home precisely half a minute down on pre-race favourite and runaway winner Lucy Kabuu and gather the scalp of also Kenyan Irene Jerotich, showing that her Olympic dream remains well alive despite missing almost the entire summer after surgery in May.

Daegu finalist Helen Clitheroe, rather tired on the end of a long racing schedule, finished a distant fourth in 34:33 to bring the curtain down on her season and head into some necessary break, before resuming training for a massive next summer. Like last year, she plans to spend a lengthy spell training at the altitude of Kenya to build in a sound endurance component.

Martin Matathi, the Great North Run victor in Newcastle, defied the conditions to keep up the trend and set another course record on the bounce on British soil, pulling 28:03, although he had to exert himself to shrug off the challenge of fellow countryman Titus Mbishei (28:08) in the late stages, while Tom Humphries turned the surprise package of the day in a big lifetime best of 29:18 for third.

That represented a promising breakthrough display for the Briton and it will be interesting to see whether he is going to try his hand over the distance on the track to seek Olympic qualification, though the A standard of 27:45.00 is a tough act to follow.

On the other hand, there was rather disappointment for Scot Andrew Lemoncello who would have hoped for something faster than 30:00 for an overall seventh in the order as he struggles to draw his London bid back on track, forced to withdraw from the World Championships in Deagu through injury.