Fletton, Peterborough hosted the 1959 English Cross-Country Championships on a fast and flat nine-mile course of grassland and plough, the dry weather meant that the course favoured the road runners. Entries were again at record levels and 57 complete teams finished the race.
37-year-old Lancashire Mineworker Fred Norris (Bolton United Harriers) made the early running and opened up a gap after the first mile and after two miles was almost 100 yards ahead of a bunch of runners including Stan Eldon (Windsor and Eton), Mike Maynard (Herne Hill Harriers), Frank Sando (Aylesford Paper Mills) and Jim Anderson (Saltwell Harriers).
Two thirds of the way around the second lap Norris, the Northern champion, had extended his lead to more than 100 yards, next up was Sando, there was then a gap to Anderson and Maynard. Fifty yards further adrift came Eldon and G. A. North (Blackpool and Fylde Harriers), then 100 yards further back came Basil Heatley (Coventry Godiva Harriers), M. Bullivant (Derby and County AC) and Alan Perkins (Ilford AC).
At the end of the second lap Sando had moved away from the bunch and established himself in second position. At 6¾ miles, Norris's lead in time was 38 second and he began to lap the field, although Sando ran strongly over the last lap to cut this lead , Norris crossed the line a clear winner in 46 min. 57 sec., with Sando 23 seconds behind in second place. Mike Maynard was third in 47 min. 29 sec. and Anderson (Saltwell Harriers) fourth in 47 min. 39 sec., while Southern champion Stan Eldon finished well behind in fifth place in a time of 48 min. 14 sec.
After his remarkable victory, Norris said: "I shan't be defending title next year. All the training is a great strain on family life. My wife has been wonderful and only times like these that make it worthwhile for her. Enough is enough. I shan't be doing any serious cross-country running next year."