Witton Park in Blackburn, Lancashire hosted the thirty-eighth Senior Women's National Cross-Country Championships. The course was 3½ miles in length.
Defending champion Rita Ridley nee Lincoln (Essex Ladies AC) was favourite to retain her title despite a one second defeat by Joyce Smith (Barnet & District AC) in the Southern championship, others thought to be in contention were the Northern champion Barbara Banks (Wallasey AC), Margaret MacSherry (Cambridge Harriers) and Liz Parncutt (Inverness Harriers).
On the day the going was firm, the races were delayed due to officials attending a civic luncheon and the senior women were 35 minutes late getting away.
Liz Parncutt led the field by 10 metres after 400m, and at 1km still held a clear lead from Gillian Tivey (Derby & County AC), Barbara Banks, Rita Ridley and Joyce Smith. By 1500m Tivey shared the lead with Parncutt and were pursued by Smith, Banks, Ridley, Margaret Beacham (Barnet & District AC) and Thelwyn Bateman (Coventry Godiva Harriers). At the halfway stage mark: Ridley, Banks, Tivey and Smith just led from Joan Page (Cambridge Harriers) and Bateman. Ridley and Smith broke away from Tivey and Banks and with a kilometre's worth of running to go Ridley had edged in front of Smith. Rita Ridley went on to win in 21:01, ten seconds ahead of Joyce Smith, while Joan Page had moved through to take the bronze medal with Barbara Banks in fourth.