The forty-first Senior Women's National Cross-Country Championships were held at the Marl Pits Stadium, Rawtenstall in Lancashire. Rossendale AC marked out the 3¼ mile course which consisted of two laps, the route was described as tough and contained several steep hills.
Rita Ridley (Essex Ladies AC) was looking to set a record of five consecutive wins in the pursuit for the individual title. Other runners anticipated to be up front were 34-year-old Joyce Smith (Barnet & District AC), Jean Lochhead (Airedale & Spen Valley AC) and Northern champion Liz Connors (Preston Harriers).
The weather for the race was fine but snow lay on the ground and there was plenty of mud as the sun melted the snow.
Smith and Ridley set the pace early in the race and by the halfway point these two were clear of the pack with Penny Yule (Brighton & Hove AC) and Carol Gould (Barnet & District AC) giving chase.
On the second lap Joyce Smith broke away from Rita Ridley and went on to win in 22:10, 70 yards ahead of Ridley. Penny Yule won the battle for bronze edging Carol Gould by 20 yards.