CHARLOTTE Purdue claimed her first victory of 2014 at the Cardiff Cross Challenge last weekend.

The 22-year-old, from Hook, led the 6.99km senior women’s race from start to finish to move to the top of the Cross Challenge ahead of the final race of the series.

Purdue went off hard and was 10 metres ahead of the field at the end of the first of three laps around Blackweir Fields in Cardiff.

By the end of the second lap, her lead was up to 30sec and she crossed the line in 25min 09sec to beat second-placed Laura Whittle by a massive 59sec.

Purdue said: “I started off quite steady to see how I felt. I hadn’t tapered down for this at all but I wanted to come here because I like the course and I wanted to pick up some Cross Challenge points. I love racing and I’ve missed it.”

The result means that Purdue is sure to win The British Athletics Cross Challenge series if she repeats her victory at the last meeting of the season, the Challenge Cross Final, which will take place in Cofton Park, Birmingham, on March 8.

The Hook runner had previously finished second at Liverpool and first at Antrim, so her victory in Cardiff moved her to the top of the standings.

“I’m definitely looking to win the Cross Challenge,” she said. “Obviously I’ve got tough competition from the likes of Gemma Steel so I’ll need to keep training hard.”

Post-race interview with Charlotte Purdue

Highlights of the Cardiff Cross Challenge

Videos courtesy of BritishAthleticsTV/YouTube