KERRY Holland was delighted to be the first female to finish at the Southend 10k.

The Southend AC athlete crossed the line in 37 minutes and 58 seconds.

And she was overjoyed to have triumphed after suffering a troubled build up to the event which almost saw her withdraw from the race before it had even begun.

“I’m so happy,” said Holland.

“I’ve always wanted to win the Southend 10k as it’s my home turf.

“I’ve been suffering with a pelvic fracture for three years and haven’t been able to compete so I was delighted to win.”

But Holland only decided to take part in the event at the last minute after struggling with a cold in the build up to Sunday’s run.

“I had a bad cold and chesty cough leading up to the 10k and even on the morning I was planning on not doing it,” said Holland.

“I’m obviously delighted I decided to do it now.”

Holland finished 44 seconds ahead of nearest rival.

And she is now keen to build on her victorious display.

“Sunday was still a minute off my personal best time but at least I’m getting back to fitness which is encouraging for me,” said Holland.

“The wind at the weekend was also really tough in the last 5k so that added time on too.

“But hopefully I can build on this now and keep on improving.

“My next target is to do well in the cross country season “And winning on Sunday has certainly given me a big boost.”