The forty-sixth Senior Women's National Cross-Country Championship was held at Hughenden Park, High Wycombe. The 25-hectare park had the Hughenden stream running through the length of the park and bordered with Hughenden Manor owned by the National Trust. A record number of entries had been received for the championships. The course was 5100 metres in length.
Holder Glynis Penny (Cambridge Harriers) was hoping to defend her title and faced opposition from the leading runners including inter-counties champion Kathryn Binns (Sale Harriers), Southern title holder Penny Yule (Portsmouth Atalanta), Wendy Smith (Feltham AC), Joyce Smith (Barnet & District AC) and Midlands champion Mary Stewart (Birchfield Harriers).
The weather for the race was mild and seven runners formed a leading group early in the race namely, Yule, Stewart, Wendy Smith, Joyce Smith, Binns, Christine Benning (Stretford AC) and Chris Ward (London Olympiades AC). At the end of the first lap the group had been whittled down to four - Mary Stewart, Penny Yule, Wendy Smith and Joyce Smith. With a mile of the race left to run Yule dropped back.
With half a mile to go 40-year-old Joyce Smith had opened up a gap over Wendy Smith with Mary Stewart in third position. In the run in 18-year-old Wendy Smith passed Joyce Smith but was overtaken by the fast-finishing Mary Stewart who claimed victory with a fine finish.
Mary Stewart who was celebrating her 22nd birthday as well as the win told the Coventry Evening Telegraph after the race "I'm delighted, when we started the last downhill run. I found the gap in front of me was closing, and I realised that with my track speed I could win."
Kathrine Binns (6th) led Sale Harriers to the team title with a 38-point victory over Feltham AC with Stretford AC in third. Other counters for Sale were Jill Williamson (13th), Barbara Schofield (16th) and Hilary Hollick (23rd). The finishing order was the same as the previous year.