The English National Cross-Country Championships returned to Parliament Hill Fields after a gap of 10 years. The one hundred and sixteenth running of the event was sponsored by shoe company Saucony.
There were no clear favourites for the men's race, last year's champions Sam Haughian (Windsor, Slough, Eton, & Hounslow AC) was injured. The area champions were Chris Cariss (Bingley Harriers) - Northern, John Downes (London Irish AC) - Southern and Midlands was Nick Talbot (Notts AC) - Glynn Tromans (Coventry Godiva Harriers) was the inter-counties champion.
In the team race the area championships were held by Leeds City AC (Northern), Tipton Harriers (Midland) and Newham and Essex Beagles (Southern).
The starter set the 1200 plus runners on their way and the usual battle up the hill commenced. After the first lap the lead pack consisted of four runners Adrian Mussett (Colchester Harriers & AC), Andy Caine (Tynedale Harriers), Huw Lobb (Bedford & County AC) and Matt Smith (Tipton Harriers) and they had a 100 metre gap on the chasing group.
On the second lap Smith started to break away and led by 6 seconds half way around the circuit. Smith maintained this lead to win by the same margin ahead of Caine in 41:54. Lobb picked up a bronze medal.
28-year-old Matt Smith told Athletics Weekly after the race: "I'm so proud, I've always had an affinity with the National. I've done four of the last five. This is where it's famous. To win the National and to win it at Parliament Hill makes it doubly special."