Mel Batty (Thurrock Harriers) dominated the English Cross Country Championships held at Parliament Hill Fields, London beating the record field of 898 runners over the nine-mile course.
At the end of the first three miles lap, he was 100 yards clear and by the time the runners came into view at the end of the second lap he had extended his lead to well over 200 yards. On the last lap Batty lost a little ground but victory was assured and when he crossed the finishing line in 44min. 27sec it was another 29 second before the second man, Tim Johnston (Portsmouth A.C.) followed him home. Johnson had beaten Batty in the recent inter-county race, third man was Johnson's teammate John Cooke.
Although he was favoured, it was thought that the mud would put a brake on his progress, but Batty ploughed through the mud and the patches of slush with complete assurance. Batty had successfully defended his individual title and afterwards said: "This has been a great race for me. I have proved that I can run as well on mud as on firm going. I never thought it would be as easy as this.".