Parliament Hill Fields in Hampstead Heath London hosted the one hundred and thirty first English National Cross-Country Championships. This was the thirteenth time the venue had hosted the championships. The course was 12km in length and consisted of one medium lap and two large laps plus the start and finish straights, the original plan was to have two large laps but this was changed on the day. Once again Saucony sponsored the race.
Defending champion Ben Connor (Derby AC) was not entered. The area champions were Alex Brecker (City of Stokes AC) - Midlands, John Gilbert (Kent AC) - Southern and Carl Avery (Morpeth Harriers) - Northern. Adam Hickey (Southend On Sea AC), the Southern runner-up, was also expected to feature.
In the team event an open race was expected with last year's champions Tonbridge AC looking to defend their crown. Area champions were Notts. AC (Midlands), Bedford & County AC (Southern) and Sale Harriers (Northern).
Weather on the day was cool and there was bright sunshine. Tom Phillips (Woodford Green AC with Essex Ladies) led the record 2328 finishers at the top of Kite Hill, Tom enjoyed a moment of glory and went on to finish in 316th place. At the end of the first medium sized lap a leading group of seven runners had started to open up a gap, the group included Hickey, Gilbert, Avery, Tom Austin (Poole AC), Andrew Maud (Highgate Harriers), Peter Huck (Barrow & Furness Striders) and Chris Olley (Tonbridge AC).
At the end of the second lap the group had been whittled down to five with Gilbert, Hickey, Maud, Avery and Huck all vying for the lead. As the last lap unfolded Gilbert, Hickey and Maud began to break away. Further into the lap Hickey got away from Maud and overhauled Gilbert to win by 9 seconds in 39:35, Maud overtook Gilbert for the silver with Gilbert taking bronze.
29-year-old Hickey told Jason Henderson at Athletics Weekly "This is the one I've always wanted to win, the main thing was not to get too carried away early on. As a junior I'd push from the front the whole time but now I'm older I've learned to be more patient. I felt strong on the last lap and pushed on from there." Hickey's coach and former National champion Eamonn Martin told Athletics Weekly "I was calm watching because all my work was done, I know Adam really well and I could tell he looked like he was in control and running well. It's important to get confidence as a runner and you do that by winning races like this."