Second place in the Chichester 10k on Sunday in a time of 33mins 58secs shot the Bristol & West AC runner from Slad to the top of the South West Rankings and is also seventh fastest in the UK this year so far.
For her first race in three months that represents a remarkable achievement especially as Kate admits that in 2017 she fell out of love with the sport and nearly quit.
“I just didn’t enjoy running last year and was looking around for other sports to do,” said Maltby.
“I am not exactly sure why that was. I think it was several different things coming together at once and I felt I just needed a break from running.
“Over Christmas I went to Australia for a month and didn’t train hard at all, just went for a few runs. Since coming home I have only done three hard sessions probably so I was thinking that would run around 36 minutes on Sunday.
“To come out and run that fast was a big surprise.”
The time was only 29 seconds slower that Maltby’s lifetime best which she ran in the Bristol 10k early last year and suggests that 2018 could be a much different year.
“The conditions weren’t that good on Sunday either and at one stage the headwind made it feel like I was running backwards,” added Maltby.
“But I really enjoyed it and it was nice to feel competitive. It is good to be back and I am looking forward to racing again now.”