The seventy-second Senior Women's National Cross-Country Championships took place at Temple Newsam Park, Leeds, this was the first time the National had been hosted at this venue. The 8km course was two laps. The event was sponsored by Saucony.
Reigning champion Hayley Yelling (Windsor, Slough, Eton, & Hounslow AC) wasn't defending her title as she was training in the United States. Potential winners were the previous year's junior winner and southern champion, Louise Damen (Bournemouth AC), Northern winner Helen Lawrence (Wirral AC) and Amy Stiles (Bristol AC) the Midland title holder.
At the end of the first lap Louise Damen had a 50 metres lead on Birhan Dagne (Belgrave Harriers) but on the second lap Dagne showed good strength to not only overhaul Damen but beat her by 100 metres. Damen picked up silver with bronze going to Juliet Potter (Charnwood AC).
Birhan Dagne sought political asylum in Britain when arriving as a member of the Ethiopian squad at the 1995 World Cross Country Championships, she took up British citizenship in 1999 and told Athletics Weekly: " I decided to enter the National only on Monday to see where I'm at in my training. "I don't like cross-country, but it was something I thought I could win. I will not race cross country again this winter."
Louise Damen said "I'm just glad it's all over. It was hard race, even tougher than at Parliament Hill last year."