Lebid not done yet, eyes 10th title in Belgrade | 12.12.2012
But in Budapest last Sunday that was the case as the brilliant Ukrainian, a winner of this title on nine occasions, could not find the form that has made him a legend of the event as he crossed the line in 30:36 in a race where Italian Andrea Lalli triumphed in 30:01.
Lebid may be 37, yet he has announced that he is not finished with this competition where he first won the title in Ferrara in 1998.
Digesting the outcome of this year's race, Lebid revealed he remains fully focussed on the same goal he had this time around - to win that 10th crown.
Snowy weather might have made for a beautiful backdrop for the event but it did not work in Lebid's favour.
He said: "The cold Hungarian weather played a nasty trick upon me.
"I was frozen even before the start of our 10 km race. I had been feeling so cold that my legs turned into 'stones'.
"But I'm not going to yield to circumstances. I have enough time for preparation for the next European Cross Country Championships.
"My dream about the 10th title is still alive and I'll do everything possible to make it true."
Belgrade is the host in 12 months time where Lebid will hope everything fits into place to add to his glories in 2001 in Thun, 2002 in Medulin, 2003 in Edinburgh, 2004 in Heringsdorf, 2005 in Tilburg, 2007 in Toro, 2008 in Brussels and 2010 in Albufeira.