The English National Cross-Country Championships returned to Parliament Hill Fields in London for the one hundred and twenty second edition of the race. Saucony were once again the race sponsors. The course consisted of three laps and was 12km in length.
Frank Tickner (Wells City Harriers) started as favourite, others who were thought to be in contention for the Chesham Cup were Southern winner Phil Wicks (Belgrave Harriers) who was runner-up the previous year, the Northern champion Steve Vernon (Stockport Harriers) who had a pair of bronze medals in the event and also Midlands champion Phil Nicholls (Tipton Harriers). Andy Vernon (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC) had previously won the Junior race.
In the team race Northern champions Leeds City AC were seeking their fourth consecutive senior men's team win. Darran Bilton team race gold medalist from Leeds told Athletics Weekly: "We are passionate about this title and every member will be starting this race in 100 per cent condition. It would be wonderful to win the title again, but it will be tough and we as a team will be treating the challenge with due reverence." Southern champions Winchester & District AC and Midlands winners Tipton Harriers were hoping to wrestle the cup away from Leeds.
The weather on the day was warm and sunny but there was plenty of mud due to the recent rainfall. Frank Tickner had a slender lead after the climb up Kite Hill from Steve and Andy Vernon, Moumin Geele and Keith Gerrard (both Newham & Essex Beagles AC). At the end of the first lap Tickner still led followed by Steve Vernon, Geele, Benedict Whitby (Windsor, Slough, Eton, & Hounslow AC), Phil Wicks and Andy Vernon. Half way around the second lap Steve Vernon and Gelle had caught Tickner.
On the third lap Geele faded and Tickner and Steve Vernon had a ding dong battle, with Tickner's strength in the mud ultimately giving him the win by 8 seconds. Andy Vernon finished strongly for the bronze medal. 25-yearold Tickner told Athletics Weekly "I felt okay on the first lap and that was always the plan, just like I did last year (in the Southerns).These boys are stronger, so I thought if I'm going to get these this year I'll push. Your mind starts playing tricks and then Steve came past several times!"
Steve Vernon said: "I'm gutted as I really wanted it, I was toughing it out in the last mile. I did all the running and chasing and tried to push harder down the last mile. Still, it's an improvement and all credit to the winner."