The Senior Women's National Cross-Country Championships took place in the picturesque surroundings of Cheltenham Racecourse and this was the diamond jubilee of the race.
Andrea Whitcombe (Parkside AC) was attempting to complete a hat-trick of individual wins and told Athletics Weekly "I am looking forward to running the National, it is always a good one to run, it is a team event as well as individual. We are going all out to win the team race again this year - everyone is gearing themselves towards this one." Others thought to be in the mix for medals were Midland champion Lisa York (Leicester Coritanian AC), the previous year's runner-up, Alison Wyeth (Parkside AC), Northern champion Jenny Clague (Liverpool Harriers), Nicky Morris (Essex Ladies AC) and Suzanne Rigg (Sale Harriers).
In the team race Parkside look strongest again and were looking for their fourth consecutive title, others in contention were Leicester Coritanian AC, Westbury Harriers, Sale Harriers and Birchfield Harriers - the last team to beat Parkside to the title.
Hayley Nash (Torfaen Amateur AC) was an early leader with Andrea Whitcombe, Sharon Barbour (Birchfield Harriers), Sue Parker (Sale Harriers) and Suzanne Rigg at the front. At the three-quarter mile point Jenny Clague was pushing the pace and this turn of speed meant that by the end of the first lap the lead group was down to four - Clague, Rigg, Whitcombe and Lisa York. 40 metres adrift was Laura Adam (Parkside AC) who was followed by Barbour and Parker.
With two miles covered Whitcombe fell behind Clague and battled to get back on level terms, Lisa York was also in the hunt. On the turn for home with Clague and York leading, Clague fell badly leaving York on her own in the lead. Rigg and Whitcombe were not far behind, over the last kilometre York kept pressing, she pulled away from Whitcombe to win in 19:49 just 3 seconds ahead of Whitcombe. American Rigg beat Clague to third place.
21-year-old Lisa York told Athletics Weekly "I have always wanted to be a National champion and often wondered what it is like. Now I am a National champion, I don't feel any different."