Nick McCormick won the 24th Brooks Armagh 5K International Race around the floodlit Mall after a thriller in which a dozen athletes were in with a chance until the last circuit.
Welsh star Dewi Griffiths, Krzysztof Zebrowski from Poland, Kevin Schwab of USA and England’s Mike McCloud all had turns in front but it was McCormick from Morpeth the 2010 winner who had the big finish.
He sprinted in just in front of Richard Weir from Darby runner up for the second year in succession with Ieuan Thomas, Lewis Moses, Zebrowski, Schwab and Griffiths following.
Conor Bradley in 16th was top local with Andrew Agnew 23rd and Joe McAllister 26th.
Former European Under 23 champion Laura Whittle from Loughborough took the Ladies race with an impressive display.
Ann Marie McGlynn led on the first circuit with Laura, Elle Vernon, and Rachel Bamford all well placed along with Ellie Stephens and Laura Dunn.
Scottish International Whittle took over at the bell leading from Elle Vernon and she went on to win by just under three seconds. Rachel Bamford fourth last year took third ahead of Ann Marie McGlynn, Laura Dunn and Ellie Stephens who finished in the top seven for the sixth year in a row.
Fionnuala Ross was top home runner in 10th with Danielle Fegan 16th and Rachel Gibson 20th. Amy Hamill was top Junior B with Catriona McGloin leading the Junior A.
Joe McAllister amazingly lined up again in the Open 3K and just lost out after a duel with Alistair Campbell of Cambusling with schools star Paddy Robb third.
The local action on Saturday is the Stormont event which takes place on a revised trail and path course owing to the flooded conditions on the cross country circuit.
The programme opens at 11am with Primary Schools while the Open and Masters Men and Women go at 12.20pm. plplplplpl