ADAM Hickey continued his fine winter form with a sixth-placed finish while running for England at the Venta de Banos international in Spain.

The Southend AC athlete put himself in the mix throughout the 10.5km race which was eventually won by the Kenyan Vincent Chepkok, who won the bronze medal at the last World Cross-Country Championships in 2011.

Hickey, 24, finished 52 seconds back on Chepkok and the second England athlete home, just six seconds behind Patrick Martin.

“I was really pleased with the run,” said Hickey. “Obviously I would have liked to have been the first of the England team home but I was happy.

“I’m running with a lot more confidence since the European Cross-Country trials at Liverpool (where Hickey placed eighth) and I’m a bit more aggressive with my running.”

The course in Spain was not one Hickey would have come across to many times.

It involved, at various times, running along gravel roads, slabs of fencing and ploughed fields.

“It was more like a challenge course than a cross-country one but I enjoyed it,” laughed Hickey whose next race will see him running for Great Britain in the Edinburgh International on January 5.