The 43rd race for the National Cross- Country Championship took place on Saturday at Doncaster on the racecourse and adjacent country.
It was a glorious afternoon, and 19 teams, 34 individuals, making a grand total of 220 runners competed.
It was confidently expected that Birchfield and Surrey would fight out the race for team honours, and that the individual championship rested between Corporal Cotterell, of the Signallers Corps, E. Harper, of Hallamshire, and C. E. Blewitt, of Birchfield. the holder.
Unfortunately - and a similar state of things could not be remembered by the oldest official present - there was a false start, and a good one at that, for the front rank had travelled quite 600 yards before they could be completely pulled up.
Eventually the pack was despatched in order, and after the first circuit of 2½ miles eight competitors were very close together, A. N. Sewell, of the North, having a slight advantage.
Birchfield and Surrey were already very prominent with J. E. Webster, the first man for the Stagbearers, and running very strongly too.
There were a few "vicissitudes." of course but entering the last circuit Cotterell was a little way in front of Harper, with the soldier apparently in trouble. The Northern man was actually in front with two miles to go, but Cotterell came again to win a great race by about six yards in fast time.
The young Birchfielder was third, a great performance, and one which, of course, materially helped the 'Fleet and Free' men to gain a record performance by winning for the fifth year in succession.
Hitherto Moseley H. had four wins to their credit, in 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884.