Nikki Hamblin might have won her third straight national 1500m title today but the most important thing was the fact she was running a race at all.
The two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist (800m, 1500m) now has four months to prove her form, in the words of the Athletics New Zealand selectors, before she is confirmed for the London Olympics.
Her win in today's women's 1500m at the New Zealand track and field championships marked her comeback from a long-standing foot injury (bursitis).
The 23-year-old has already met the Olympic qualifying standard when she ran a national record time of 4:4.82s last July but needs to get racing again before her selection is rubber-stamped.
She won today's national title comfortably, kicking away in the final 200m to win in 4:19.63. It was well short of what she needs to run but today wasn't really about times.
"It's been a long few months of spending a lot of time in the pool," she said. "Being able to race is a reward for all that.
"Coming in I had no idea what shape I was in. I was just trying to go for the win. It's a stepping stone for the next six weeks of training before heading overseas and getting down to that Olympic qualifying time."
She doesn't need to meet the qualifying time again, a point emphasised by Athletics New Zealand convenor of selectors Graham O'Brien, but she will probably need to go close. "If she can prove form ... she will be fine as far as we are concerned," O'Brien said.
Whether that's in one race or a series of races is really up to Hamblin. She will train solidly for the next six weeks before racing a Diamond League event in Shanghai and has targeted a handful of other events to get back into race form.
She had no problem with the fact her name was missing from the first wave of athletes named for the London Olympics.
"It's completely understandable," she said. "You can't select someone on something they did 18 months ago, having shown no form.
"I think I still have a lot of time, four months is a lot of days of running, so I'm not too worried about it. I'm just happy to be back training and running and back racing today."
Another in the same boat was Monique Williams, who completed the sprint double with her win in the 200m today. Williams has been battling with plantar fasciitis and returned to training only last week.
Her time of 24.5 seconds is still 1.5s outside the A standard (the Commonwealth Games finalist has bettered the mark three times before) but it was done in blustery conditions at Trusts Stadium.
"I'm just glad to get that win under my belt," she said. "It's a good start for the start of my season,
"I have been really lacking in my confidence. That's one thing I have been struggling with. It has been hit after hit. Sometimes there's only so much you can take but I'm still here and I feel like I am back. It's good to get the double title back. Why shouldn't I be confident now?"
Hamblin would tend to agree.