ADAM Hickey confirmed his return to full fitness by winning the Southend 10k for the 12th time.

The 29-year-old - who crossed the finish line in 30 minutes and 30 seconds - had a hernia repair operation in March.

But Hickey showed no sign of struggle on Sunday as he stormed to another victory on home soil.

“It was great to get the win wearing the Southend vest in Southend,” said Hickey.

“I wasn’t wearing a watch but I could see on the pace car I was on for sub 30 minutes until the wind started to get stronger and I just started to enjoy the run.

“It was great to see so many Southend vests running and to see so many people taking part, including a great elephant fancy dress costume!

“But it was just great to be out running again and, although I’ve missed some training because of the surgery, I still feel in pretty good shape.”

Hickey had run through the pain for quite some time before finally deciding to have the operation earlier this year.

But he could have been back far sooner had it not been for a freak incident during a track training session.

“I was training at Gloucester Park when a sprinter stepped out into lane one and I clattered into him,” said Hickey.

“It put me back six weeks but I’m just glad to be back running now.”

Hickey is now preparing for the Manchester Half Marathon - which he won last year - and takes place a week on Sunday.

Hannah Viner was the first female finisher, crossing the line in 36 minutes and 35 seconds.