Sutton Park hosted the English Cross-Country Championships on a fairly flat moorland course of 9 miles made up of 3 x 3 mile laps, each lap contained two fords to pass the stream that fed Longmoor Pool.
Northern champion Ron Hill (Bolton United Harriers) was considered one of the favourites and others thought to be in contention were Midland champion Roy Fowler (North Staffordshire & Stone Harriers), unbeaten over the country this season, and Mike Tagg (Norfolk Gazelles). Last year's winner Dick Taylor was suffering from a bruised foot and was not expected to challenge.
The 900 strong field set off with a stampede like charge in an effort to establish a lead. Several runners fell at the fords and towards the end of the first lap Ron Hill emerged as the leader with a fifty-yard advantage over Fowler, a similar distance back in third was Mike Freary (Bolton United Harriers), with Frank Briscoe (Leigh Harriers), Roger Clarke (Bristol Athletic Club) and Allan Rushmer (Tipton Harriers) in close attendance.
At the end of the second lap Hill had extended his lead over Fowler to 100 yards with Freary only 20 yards behind Fowler. A strong pack of Clarke, Briscoe, Bill Adcocks (Coventry Godiva Harriers), Gerry North (Belgrave Harriers) and Rushmer followed Mike Tagg and Tony Cox (Luton United Harriers) next up.
During the third lap Hill continued to increase the gap on the chasing runners and came home to win in 43:55, 27 seconds ahead of Mike Freary who had the fortune to be the second fastest cross country runner in England but not the fastest in his club. 14 seconds further back was Fowler in third.
Coventry Godiva Harriers won the team race, with Bill Adcocks 6th, despite a fall, 1967 individual champion Dick Taylor 27th, John Hammond 47th, Juan Taylor 54th, Maurice Hirons 59th and former three-time champion and Olympic silver medallist Basil Heatley 63rd. Portsmouth AC narrowly beat North Staffordshire & Stone Harriers to runners up by only 5 points. Gas-fitter Adcocks said "The course suited me and I am very pleased."