The Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire was the venue for the 1990 Senior Women's National Cross-Country Championships sponsored by Provincial Insurance Limited. This was the fifty-eighth edition of the race and the course was 5,480 metres.
The leading contenders for the individual title were expected to be Maxine Newman (Leicester Coritanian AC), the Midland champion, and Lucy Martin (Stretford AC), the Northern title holder and Southern winner Andrea Newcombe (Parkside AC). Andrea Wallace (Torbay AC), the Inter-Counties champion was a non-starter. The 1989 champion, Angie Pain (Leeds City AC), was suffering from sciatica and wasn't expected to defend her title.
The going on the day was good and the early leaders were Heather Heasman (Invicta East Kent AC), Maxine Newman, Lynne Robinson (Coventry Godiva Harriers), Claire Lavers (Essex Ladies AC) and Alison Wyeth (Parkside AC).
As the race developed Lisa York (Leicester Coritanian AC) and Whitcombe made a break and were 10 metres clear of Laura Adam (Stevenage & North Herts AC) with Marian Sutton (City of Plymouth AC) and Lucy Martin emerging from the pack to lead the chasers. York was unable to maintain the pace and dropped back. Whitcombe continued to increase her lead with Laura Adam being 20 yards down in second and Marian Sutton, Lynne Robinson and Nicky McCracken (Borough of Hounslow AC) battling for third. Andrea Whitcombe held her lead, winning by 11 seconds from Laura Adam in 19:03. Alison Wyeth came through to take bronze.
18-year-old Andrea Whitcombe told Athletics Weekly "I like to run the way I feel. I like to have a clear vision of what lies ahead. I feel better out in front. I didn't think she'd go out so hard. [Lisa York] I was just sort of hanging in."