The one hundred and thirtieth running of the English National Cross-Country Championships took place at Wollaton Park, Nottingham. The venue was last used for the National in 2014 and the course was slightly different using one small lap, one medium lap, one large lap and one extra large lap making a total of 12km with the start and finish straights.
Favourites for the race were defending champion Jonny Hay (AFD), Midands champion Alex Brecker (City of Stoke AC), Northern title holder Ben Connor (Derby AC) and Southern champion Andy Maud (Highgate Harriers), Adam Hickey (Southend on Sea AC) and 2015 National winner Charlie Hulson (Sale Harriers).
In the team event Highgate Harriers, the Southern champions, and Bedford & County AC led the charge for the South with the Northern challenge expected to come from Sale Harriers (Northern champions) and Morpeth Harriers and from the Midlands Notts. AC, the area title holders.
The weather on the day was cloudy but not cold, the course had some hills and some particularly muddy areas. Ben Connor went straight to the front on the first small lap. Connor was still leading the runners at the end of the second lap but had a big group for company.
By the end of the large third lap Connor had a lead of 20 metres over Sam Stabler (Oadby & Wigston Legionnaires AC) with Graham Rush (Cheltenham & County Harriers) a further 20 metres back followed by Jonathan Taylor (Morpeth Harriers), Jack Martin (Stockport Harriers) and Alex Tetuen (Southampton AC). Connor continued to dominate on the last extra large lap and went on to win in 39:35, 14 seconds clear of Tetuen with Stabler third.
24-year-old Connor told Athletics Weekly "I liked the course. A lot of it was nice and firm with some real good running but there was mud and hills to make it a test. I felt strong and once I got the gap, I went hard and made it count. My training has gone very well and been consistent and my European run and a sub-29 10km gave me confidence."