The twenty-first Women's National Cross-Country Championship was held at Birmetals Ltd, Woodgate, Birmingham. The course was 2½ miles in length and consisted of two laps.
Phyllis Green (Ilford A C.), holder for two years, had not recovered from 'flu and wasn't expected to retain her title.
Ilford AC were looking to score a hat-trick in the team event after wins in 1951 and 1952.
In the race Diane Leather (Birchfield Harriers), the Midland champion, set the pace from the outset and at the end of the first lap she led Marian Davies (Stockport Harriers) by 40 seconds, Leather went on to win in 15:17 with Davies her nearest rival finishing in 16:33. Ruby Smith nee Wright (St Gregory's AC), the 1947 winner, occupied third place. Leather was troubled by a dog on the course and said after the race "I only shouted to some boys to try and get the dog away" when it was suggested that the dog had been troubling her, she said "Oh, I was all right but it was worrying the girls behind me!"
Leather had only taken up running 5 months before the 'National' and had won the National Junior, and Midland Senior titles prior to adding the National Senior title.