CROSS country runner Tim Gardner continued his good run of form by winning his first South of England title at the weekend.

Gardner had the perfect build-up to his outing for the South of England squad in Brussels on Sunday when, representing Bucks, he clinched the South of England Inter Counties Under-23 Championship in Dorset.

The Wycombe Phoenix runner started the race cautiously, positioning himself at the back of the leading pack in sixth place.

By the end of the first lap of the 7km course he had moved up to third and was reeling in the leading athlete, a former national age-groups champion.

On the penultimate lap Gardner moved into second. He stayed there until the final lap where he accelerated into the lead to win by 150 metres.

This Sunday, the Wycombe runner will face a host of senior international athletes in the annual Brussels Fortis Cross Cup.