The sixty-third Senior Women's National Cross-Country Championships took place at Wigmore Valley Park, Luton. This was the first joint male and female event in National Cross-Country history. The events attracted over 9,000 entrants with 641 in the senior women's race. The changing facilities for the ladies was in Ashcroft High School and the event required 150 plus officials. The course was 6km in length.
The ladies race had no strong favourite with defending champion Paula Radcliffe (Bedford & County AC) not running. Lucy Elliott (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) held the inter-counties title, three times individual silver medalist Alison Wyeth (Parkside AC), former winner and Midland champion Helen Titterington (Leicester Coritanian AC) were all expected to be in the hunt for medals.
Parkside AC were looking for their seventh consecutive victory in the team event. Parkside manager Sylvia Parker told Athletics Weekly: "They are going to find it tougher this time. We don't under-estimate anybody."
After a mile had been covered Californian-born Katy McCandless (Parkside AC) was at the front with Alison Wyeth just behind. Lucy Elliott and club mate Carolina Weatherill (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) had set the early pace but had started dropping down the field. Sonia McGeorge (Brighton & Hove AC) was in the bronze medal position with Andrea Wallace (Brighton & Hove AC) and Helen Titterington following. Katy McCandless became the first American to win the individual title finishing in 19:55, second was Alison Wyeth with Sonia McGeorge in third. Wyeth had now come second four times and told Athletics Weekly: "I could not afford to ease down because I've been ill twice this year already. But it doesn't make it any better when you don't win."