Jo Pavey was happy but tired after winning Saturday's SPAR European Cross Country trial in Liverpool.
Pavey has been warm-weather training in South Africa
She finished 100m ahead of her nearest rival at the end of the 6.5km race to win in a time of 23 minutes 28 seconds.
"I was really struggling in the deep mud - it was almost hopeless trying to get a rhythm," said the Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist.
Felicity Milton and Kate Reed were second and third, while the men's trial was won by student Frank Tickner.
He covered the 10km distance in 31min 18sec to finish four seconds clear of Mike Skinner with USA-based Gavin Thompson third in 31:29.
Pre-race favourites Steve Vernon and former European Under 23 5,000m champion Chris Thompson, were fourth and fifth in 31min 36sec and 31min 47sec.