Parliament Hill Fields, Hampstead Heath, London hosted the seventy-first Senior Women's National Cross-Country Championships. Shoe company Saucony became title sponsors of the event. The initial charge up the hill is one of the great sights in cross-country. The course consisted of two 4km loops.
Liz Yelling (Bedford & County AC) wasn't defending her title as she was preparing for the World Cross Country Championships by training in Albuquerque. Hayley Yelling (Windsor, Slough, Eton, & Hounslow AC), the Inter-Counties champion, was an outstanding favourite for the individual title.
Hayley Yelling raced up the notorious first incline to lead the chasing pack by 10 metres at the top. In pursuit were Morag McDonnell (Chester-le-Street & District AC), Debbie Robinson (Tipton Harriers), Helen Lawrence (Wirral AC), Jenny Clague (Liverpool Harriers), Jenny Heath (Sale Harriers), Sharon Dixon (Bristol AC) and Sonia Thomas (Sale Harriers). At the halfway stage Jo Kelsey (Woking AC) came through the pack to take second place in front of Clague, Thomas and Heath as Yelling extended her lead to 200 metres. Halfway around the second lap Yelling was still going strong with Kelsey chasing followed by Robinson and McDonnell. Through the woods and on to the downhill finish Yelling still led, Kelsey retained her silver medal position and Jane Potter (Charnwood AC) had attacked to come through to third. Hayley Yelling won in 32:18, 24-year-old army lieutenant Jo Kelsey was second in 33:57 with Jane Potter third (34:05).
Hayley Yelling told Athletics Weekly: "Normally I find it a bit of a struggle up hills, I'm weak in that department, which could have fooled most of the other competitors. "I was knackered at the top of the hill but once over it I got into my stride and was away, but I must admit I like a course which is firmer, I didn't really feel I was flowing today."