No one who saw the Salford Harriers beaten by the Harehills at Manchester for the Northern a fortnight ago would have imagined that the tables would be so completely turned at Kempton Park in the National race, and yet such was the case; the Salford Harriers not only beat their Leeds friends, but they licked the Southern and Midland champions as well. Kempton Park, which is an hour's railway ride from London, is well adapted for a race of the description decided on Saturday, and a genuine cross-country appearance was given to the struggle by going outside the park and taking in a lot of ploughed land.
The course on Saturday was in a hard condition, and doubtless that had something to do with the result. There was not at all a big attendance, and It looks as if the interest in cross-country events is considerably on the wane. Out of the 82 starters 63 finished.
It was a very fine race for the gold medal all the way, the youthful Thomas, of the Ranelagh Harriers, sticking gamely to the Northern champion, Parry, and there was plenty of excitement when the bell rang for the last lap, which saw the two cracks pretty close together. However, Parry's long, telling stride told its tale in the end, the gracefully moving Salford Harrier sailing home a good winner by fully sixty yards, a hearty cheer being given him as he passed the winning post. Thomas ran with wonderful gameness, but he was quite spun out in the last half-mile, and had to give in to the superiority of an extraordinary runner like Parry.
Third and fourth were a couple of Worcester men, Souch and Jeff, who kept pretty close company throughout. Jeff ran surprisingly well, and as for Souch, well, he moved quite up to his best form. Tom Brown, of Castleford, the Harehills' representative, improved upon his running at Manchester, and easily had his revenge upon Pawson, his fellow-clubman. Another runner to show a deal of improvement was Heath, of the South London, who finished sixth, whilst he could only get twenty-ninth in the Southern. Birch and Thornton, as in the Midland, kept close company and finished seventh and eighth; whilst the game Pawson fully deserved his position of ninth, the tenth place being filled by another Leeds Harrier, W. F. Sellars. Farrell, of the Salford Harriers, was in poor form on Saturday, for whereas he finished second to Parry in the Northern, he could only get 26. W. H. Coed is another runner that has gone all to pieces.