The English Cross-Country Championships moved to a more central venue that was more popular with the runners as entries were up on the previous year. The venue chosen to host the one hundred and twenty first running of the event was Alton Towers Theme Park in Staffordshire. The course was on parkland adjacent to the park and consisted of three large laps making a total length of 12 km and included one particularly steep hill.
Alton Towers offered discounted entry to the theme park on the day for runners and supporters. Glenn Marriott, chairman of host club Staffs Moorlands AC told Athletics Weekly "As well as being home to some of the best known thrill rides in the country, Alton Towers is set in wonderfully scenic countryside, but competitors need to take note: some of the rolling hills have more ups and downs than the theme park's rides."
Defending champion and Southern title holder Frank Tickner (Wells City Harriers) was missing with a knee injury. Local runner Tom Humphries (Cannock & Stafford AC) was widely tipped to feature in the race for medals. Other area champions were Northern title winner David Webb (Leeds City AC) and James Walsh (Leeds City AC) held the Midlands title. Champion in 2006 Peter Riley (Leigh Harriers) was absent as he was concentrating on road racing.
Northern champions Leeds City AC were hoping to defend their men's team crown with Midland's title holders Notts. AC eager to challenge.
This was the first National to employ the use of chip timing. Andi Jones (Salford Harriers) made the early running and was accompanied by Humphries, Andy Vernon (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC), Keith Gerrard (Newham & Essex Beagles AC), Walsh and Mike Skinner (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC).
At the start of the second lap Northern runner-up Steve Vernon (Stockport Harriers), Phil Wicks (Belgrave Harriers) and Matt Watson (Bingley Harriers) were moving up the field. At the halfway point, Humphries had a 5 metre lead over Wicks with Skinner 30 metres further adrift, followed by Vernon and Jones. Humphries continued to dominate the race going on to win by 13 seconds from Wicks in 32:03 on what would appear to be a short course. Vernon edged Jones in the race for the bronze.
23-year-old Tom Humphries told Athletics Weekly "The whole race just felt easy I thought, 'That can't be right!'"