ADAM Hickey is celebrating the biggest win of his senior career after being crowned national cross country champion.

The Southend-based 29-year-old sped away from his rivals on the testing Parliament Hill course in north-west London.

And Hickey was thrilled to add his name to the illustrious list of winners.

“The nationals has a lot of history attached to it and it’s been won by some great athletes down the years, so I’m delighted to have got the victory,” said Hickey.

“My coach Eamonn Martin won it twice, Mel Batty won it twice before him, while David Bedford and Ron Hill have also won it, so a number of big names have triumphed.

“I’m really happy to have won, it was definitely my target before the race got underway as I always want to be as near the front as possible in every race I do.

“But this is definitely right up there with the biggest wins I’ve had as a senior athlete.”

Hickey had previously won the national cross country title twice as a junior before finishing second in the senior ranks back in 2016.

However, this time Hickey was able to triumph after timing his surge to the front to perfection.

“I didn’t lead it out but I was up with the main group from the start,” said Hickey, who sped away from his rivals in the closing stages.

“It was a strong field and I didn’t really go to the front until the last lap.

“It was hard to work out how far in front I was because there were a lot of runners being lapped at that stage.

“It was only with about half a lap to go I could see I was about 200 metres in front and it was an incredible feeling, just like my coach told me it would be.”

Hickey - who was racing against more than 2,000 opponents - crossed the line in 39 minutes and 35 seconds, allowing him to finish nine seconds clear of second placed Andrew Maud. And his victory was made even more impressive by the fact he underwent hernia surgery last year.

“I had to have time off for that and when I did come back I found I was lacking endurance,” said Hickey.

“But I trained hard to get back.”