Ipswich’s international cross country runner Glen Yarham dashes to the line on his way to winning last year’s QT Ipswich Mile Gift at the Ipswich Turf Club.
Ipswich’s international cross country runner Glen Yarham dashes to the line on his way to winning last year’s QT Ipswich Mile Gift at the Ipswich Turf Club. Sarah Harvey

Yarham back ready to fire

WHEN you've got as much heart and ability as Glen Yarham, it takes a nasty injury to slow you down.

Knee ligament damage - from playing touch football rather than his beloved running - did just that.

However, Ipswich's 2010/11 senior sport star of the year is back on the road and ready to test his comeback at another international event.

Yarham, 20, has been chosen to represent Australia at the World University Cross Country Championships in Poland next month.

Having finished 41st at last year's world junior championships representing Athletics Australia, Yarham knows what it takes to mix it with the leading international runners.

On his latest mission, the QUT second year secondary education and human movement student will represent the Australian Universities Sports Federation.

He's refreshed and anxious to regain his best form.

"I'm pretty confident with the knee," he said, keen to remove any doubts in Poland.

"It still feels strong to run on but it (the injury) is at the back of your mind.

"Fitness-wise and strength-wise, it's probably 95 per cent back there.

"It's good to be back."

Although his knee didn't require surgery, Yarham considered last year's injury a setback.

Nearly three months into a new year, the Collingwood Park athlete found some positives in a forced rest.

"It was frustrating at first but once I really accepted the injury and accepted that I needed to take time off, away from the sport, it was good," he said.

"I went away to Bali and went away on a holiday with a few mates. It was just good not doing any training, just relaxing and having a good time."

On his return, Yarham had to prove to his coach and selectors he was fit enough to compete.

He's been training since December and running a 3km race in Brisbane recently satisfied the right people.

"I didn't run as strong as I wanted to but it showed that I was on the way back to running in good shape," he said. "They decided to show good faith in me and pick me for the team."

Yarham is planning to head to Greece and Turkey on April 7 for lead-up races before the world university competition in Lodz on April 14.

Before leaving Australia, the Ipswich and District Athletic Club competitor is planning a run in Mooloolaba tonight after doing 20km a week in recent weeks.

"I've been doing the kilometres and getting the strength and fitness back," he said.

"The last 10-12 weeks, I've just been flat out doing big weeks.

"It's good to race but you don't get to do the training that you want to. So I've just been concentrating on extra training, getting really strong again.

"The last two or three weeks before I leave, I'll do one or two races just to sharpen up."



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