CANVEY Island-born Jessica Judd was delighted to come out on top in the Cardiff Cross Challenge.

Judd, who is a member of Chelmsford Athletics Club, improved on her fourth-place finish from 12 months ago to beat Swansea Harriers’ Verity Ockenden over the 6990m course, with a time of 26 minutes 15 seconds.

And Judd was pleased with her 27 second victory over Ockenden.

Judd, who raced in the vest of Loughborough University where she is currently in the middle of exams, told Athletics Weekly: “It’s really nice to be at the front again but it is hard to pace it.

“It was fantastic though and I’m so happy that I held on.

“I felt comfortable until probably the last 500m – I was really starting to struggle around that final loop.

“But I’ve worked really hard for that so I am really happy to win.”

The 22-year-old, who placed 24th at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country earlier this month, added: “I’m really happy with my cross country season so far.

“I’m doing a combination of speed and endurance work now, so sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I think it was a bit off in Edinburgh.

“It was great to come here and feel like my normal self again. I’ve got a couple more races and I’ll look to do the (Cross Challenge) final in Loughborough.”