What is looked upon the "blue ribband of the turf" in connection with cross-country running took place on Saturday afternoon the neighbourhood of Birkenhead, when the 15th annual race for the National Championship was brought to a decision. The entries of nine clubs had been received, viz. : Salford Harriers (holders); Birchfield Harriers, Birmingham (Midland champions); Finchley Harriers, London (Southern champions) ; Spartan Harriers, London (Southern champions 1389-1890); Cheshire Tally-Ho Hare and Hounds Ashton - under - Lyne Harriers Liverpool Harriers; South London Harriers; and the Wirral Hare and Hounds. All was bustle and excitement in the vicinity of the starting point, the Half Way House, Woodchurch-road, Oxton, Birkenhead, and on various points of the route spectators congregated in good musters to watch the runners. The course was thoroughly representative of a cross-country run, being as near possible nine miles though, according to the rules, it should have been not less than 10 miles in circular direction, comprising upwards of 70 natural jumps, and including the crossing of seven ploughed fields and three brooks.
The Cheshire Tally-Ho arrived late, and ran six men only, and the total number of runners was 88. The Spartans were without Clarke, the walker, whilst the most conspicuous absentee in the South London team was Sanders, who ran so well last year. According to the rules, 20 men were entered from each club, but not more than 12 from each could compete.
It was nearly an hour after the advertised time when the pack was sent away, and very little could be gleaned of the running until about three miles from the start, which point our correspondent was stationed, and took the positions of the men. Here Parry (Salford), was slightly ahead of Kibblewhite (Spartan), Morton (Salford), being close on their heels. Then about 20 yards behind come Davis (Birchfield), Souch (Ashton) being near him, after which followod Heath (South London), Birch and Mabbett (Birchfield), Fowler and Bruoe (Finchley), Eaton and Bolland (Birchfield), Morris and Johnson (Salford),all in the order named. After this batch was Thornton, Watterson, Harrison, Cliffe, Wilkinson, Dorking, Hopkins, Bamford, Daffern, Meachim, Jones, and Swait, the tail end being fully half a mile away. Jones (Liverpool) bringing up the rear. Collier, one of the hopes of the " Salfordians," was at this stage a long way behind in 67th place. Prior to this Morton had met with an accident, having got spiked and lost a pump, and thus for nearly the whole of the journey he ran with bare foot. When the half distance was reached Kibblewhite led by about half-a-dozen yards from Parry, Heath following in close attendance. Then come Souch, Morton, Davies, Birch, Bruce, Fowler, Swait, Eaton, Johnson, and Thornton. From this point to the finish little alteration occurred the positions, except that Morton was in pain with his foot and had to fall back. The two leaders were in the last field together but Kibblewhite here drew away from his opponent, and won somewhat easily about 20 yards, then nearly 100 yards away oame Heath, Souch being 150 yards still further behind. The arrangements at the finish were very incomplete, the officials being greatly interfered with by the large crowd.