SOUTHEND AC’S Adam Hickey dug deep to win the Manchester Half Marathon.

Hickey crossed the line in 64 minutes, 41 seconds.

And he was delighted to have secured another victory.

“It was a good race and one I was happy to win,” said Hickey.

“My main aim was to run well, I didn’t run with a watch and that seems to have surprised a few people.

“But I knew it was a strong field and that if I was towards the front I would be running a good time anyway so that’s all I was focusing on.

“And it certainly went a lot better than the last time I ran a half marathon when I ended up struggling after 10 miles!”

Hickey finished five seconds clear of his nearest challenger Matt Bond in the wet conditions.

But Hickey was forced to dig deep to finish in first.

“I really had to work hard to stay in front,” said Hickey.

“There was a really long home straight at the end and the finishing line didn’t ever seem to be getting any closer.

“But I’m happy to have won in what were quite tough conditions.

“It was really wet and dark and the pace cars had to drive with their lights on.

“But it was a really big event with nearly 9,000 runners taking part so I enjoyed being part of it all.”

However, despite the victory, Hickey - who normally races over 5k or 10k - will not be running more half marathons in the immediate future.

“I think one’s enough for me at the moment,” laughed Hickey.

“I ran it at steady pace which I was happy about but I won’t be making the step up to race over that distance more regularly just yet.

“I’m perfectly happy doing 10ks at the moment.”

Hickey - who recently won the Southend 10k - has also been rewarded with another international call up for his fine form.

The former Southend High School pupil will run for England in the Leeds Abbey Dash 10k.

And he is already looking forward to the race.

“It’s a home countries international and the English 10k champs so it should be a fast race” said Hickey.

“Hopefully it will set me up nicely for the cross-country season which is coming up now.

“I want to start well and I want to be able to perform well in the trials for the Europeans Championships too.”

Hickey has made the Great Britain squad in the past three seasons and will now be looking to make it four in a row.