Despite suffering from a sore throat and a cold, Worcester Park-based British international Phil Wicks posted another outstanding performance to retain his Surrey senior men's cross country title over a hilly and muddy course at Croydon's Lloyd Park on Saturday.
Belgrave Harriers' Wicks went to the front from the start of the three-lap 12km race and, at the end of the first lap, was more than 200m ahead of his closest challenger, Will Clark from Epsom & Ewell.
Wicks more than doubled his lead on the second lap and was almost 500m clear of Clark as he entered the final circuit with James Kelly of Belgrave another 200m adrift in third.
Wicks crossed the finishing line in 41 minutes 20 seconds, 26 seconds faster than his winning time in 2007 and 750m ahead of Clark, whose second place in 43:50 was one of his best cross country performances and an improvement on his fifth place last season.
"I woke up with a sore throat and cold so I was pleased to win again.
"My next target is the South of England championship at Parliament Hill Fields at the end of January," said Wicks.
Kelly was third in 44:23 with Matt Shone, fourth in 44:29, leading Herne Hill to a record seventh successive team triumph.
The Thames trio of James McMullan, John McFarlane and Neal Chisholm were fifth, sixth and seventh in 44:31, 44:33 and 45:11 with Walton's James Harvey eighth in 45:13.
Iain Lockett (ninth), Rob Karn (10th), Ben Paviour (11th) and Tim Elsey (12th) completed the winning Herne Hill team.
Among those cheering on the Herne Hill team was veteran international Dave Taylor - individual winner in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 and 2005 - who was forced to sit on the sidelines because of a calf injury.
Aidan Hogan, who finished 15th, led Hercules Wimbledon to the bronze medals - their first medals in this race since 1979.
Team result: 1 Herne Hill Harriers 60; 2 Thames Hare & Hounds 148; 3 Hercules Wimbledon 156; 4 Belgrave 162; 5 South London Harriers 221; 6 Dorking & Mole Valley 343; 7 Epsom & Ewell 361; 8 Stragglers 364.
Belgrave's Alex Bodin was third in the junior men's 6.5km championship, with Josh Hart finishing eighth for Epsom Oddballs.
Team result: 1 Aldershot, Farnham & District 11; 2 Epsom and Ewell 32; 3 Tiffin School 50.
Tiffin School's Ralph Street finished sixth in the men's U17 championship.
Team result: 1 Aldershot, Farnham and District 12; 2 South London Harriers 36; 3 Hercules Wimbledon 73; 4 Tiffin School 73.
Hercules Wimbledon's Liam White took the individual bronze medal in the boys' U15 championship with Epsom & Ewell's Stefan Richards claiming fourth place.
Team result: 1 Aldershot, Farnham & District 17; 2 Herne Hill Harriers 63; 3 Hercules Wimbledon 74.
Walton's Hugo Fleming and Sam Linsley were fifth and eighth in the boys' U13 championship while Josh Keisler led St Mary's Richmond to the silver team medals.
Team result: 1 Aldershot, Farnham & District 55; 2 St Mary's Richmond 78; 3 Walton 115; 4 South London Harriers 127; 5 Herne Hill Harriers 132.