Several thousand spectators attended Graves Park, Sheffield for the 61st National Cross-Country Championship. The weather was cloudy and the undulating 10-mile course was expected to run fast as there was very little mud. Southern champion Sydney Wooderson from Blackheath Harriers was a strong favourite for the men's race, but the hills would not have been to the liking of the track specialist.
The runners changed at RAF Norton Aerodrome about a mile from the course and were ferried in by bus for the start of the race, being summoned to the transportation by a bugle.
Over 400 gathered on the start line being split into pens based on their clubs. The starting pistol was fired at 2:30 prompt and the crowd were thrilled at the site of the multi-coloured vests as they sped up the 600 yard long starting straight.
After the first small lap E. Downer (Eastleigh AC) was in the lead closely followed by J. Corfield (Tipton Harriers), R. Reid (Birchfield Harriers) and Sydney Wooderson.
At the end of the first of the three large laps, a group of nine runners including A. Shorrocks (Halesowen ACC), Wooderson, Reid and V. Blowfield (Belgrave Harriers) were in close attendance. As the race developed the number at the front was whittled down to four Wooderson, Blowfield, Shorrocks and Jack Charlesworth (Aylesford PM).
With a mile to go only Blowfield and Wooderson remained running shoulder to shoulder, Blowfield concerned at Wooderson track speed made a bold attempt to surge into the lead opening a gap of 30 yards.
Wooderson kicked with 800 yards to go and overhauled Blowfield to win by 4 seconds as the cheering spectators surged forward to leave a narrow finishing funnel. Shorrocks finished in third spot a further 5 seconds adrift.
Wooderson said afterwards, 'It was really an effort and the mental strain of cross-country running was bad, as one was wondering all the time whether one was able to last out.'