(Pictured: Adam Hickey winning the men's senior race)
Dewi Griffiths (coach: Kevin Evans) remains in contention to take the British Athletics Cross Challenge Series title after a fine performance at the penultimate fixture in Cardiff.
Griffiths finished second (33:18) behind Adam Hickey (Eammon Martin - 33:05) in Sunday’s senior men’s race over 10,370m at Bute Park in Cardiff with Jonny Hay (Mick Woods - 33:24) taking third place.
It means Griffiths, Hickey, and Andy Vernon, who missed the Cardiff event, will now battle it out for the Cross Challenge title and a £2,000 top prize at the climax of the British Athletics five-race series in Birmingham in March.
Welsh half marathon champion Griffiths said: “It all comes down to Birmingham and I’d like to think it’s a course that suits me.
“It’s quite hilly and a little bit longer so I fancy my chances.
“This is the way it should be. Winner takes all in the final race and it’s about who can perform best on the day.
“It’s a big title to win.”
Griffiths beat both Hickey and Hay (Aldershot, Farnham and District) at the series opener in Bristol but admits the Southend athlete was just too strong in Cardiff.
He said: “I’m happy with second.
“Adam gained too much on the second and third laps and although I was pulling some of the gap towards the end I’m sure if I could have caught him.
“I had a good battle with Jonny for second, I knew he has a good finish so I wanted to try and get rid of him before the final few hundred metres.”
(Pictured: The women's senior race gets underway)
Swansea veteran Andrea Whitcombe (David Sunderland) finished third (26:10) in the senior women’s race behind former Commonwealth Games finalist Charlotte Purdue, pictured below) (Mick Woods - 25:09) and ex-European U23 5,000m champion Laura Whittle (George Gandy - 26:08).
Whitcombe, who turns 43 this year, said: “I’m really happy because I didn’t know what to expect.
“I’ve been running this Cardiff course for over 20 years now and I enjoy it.
“I don’t know a lot of the younger athletes coming through now but I’m thrilled to get on the podium.
“Last year was probably one of my worst in terms of injuries so I am looking forward to a more positive 2014.”
Sian Edwards (George Edwards) just missed out on a podium place in fifth while Caryl Jones (George Edwards) also made a welcome return to action following a series of injuries in 2013 and the Swansea Harrier finished a credible sixth in her first race since October.
Wales’ only winner on the day was Menai Track and Field’s Cari Hughes, pictured below, (Andy Walling) in the under 15 girls race with her older brother Iolo (Andy Walling) finishing second in the under 17 men’s race.
There were some excellent performances from the Welsh athletes with Brecon’s Heidi Davies (Phil Banning) third in the under 17 women, Cardiff’s Jake Heywood (Tim Fry) second in the under 15 boys and Luke Davies (Phil Banning) third in the under 13 boys race.
You can read the British Athletics report from today’s Cardiff Cross Challengehere
Full results and photos will be added to this page as soon as they become available.