The one hundred and thirty third English National Cross-Country Championships took place at Wollaton Park, Nottingham. This was the third time Wollaton Park had been used for the National after visits in 2014 and 2017. The race was one small lap, one medium lap, one large lap and one extra large lap making a total of 12km. Saucony were the title sponsors, a relationship with the English Cross-Country Association that went back a decade.
Calum Johnson was the pre-race favourite after winning the Northern. Other area champions were Omar Ahmed (Birchfield Harriers) - Midland and 2018 champion Adam Hickey (Southend On Sea AC) - Southern.
In the team race the excellent recent achievements by Tonbridge AC and Leeds City AC meant their rivalry was likely to take centre stage although neither team could win their respective area championships, that honour went to Sale Harriers (Northern) and Aldershot, Farnham & District AC (Southern).
The weather on the day was windy but not too cold, the course had some particularly muddy and watery sections. After the first short lap Joe Steward (East Cheshire Harriers & Tameside AC), the Northern runner-up, led the field. Hickey lost a spike after getting clipped and the spike came off when he hit a patch of mud.
Linton Taylor (Leeds City AC) was setting the pace at the end of the second lap with Steward, Ahmed, Johnson, Zak Seddon (Bracknell AC), Mark Buckingham (Holmfirth Harriers) and Graham Rush (Leeds City AC) in close order.
At the end of the third lap a group of four made up of Johnson, Taylor, Steward and Rush had broken away. On the last lap it was a two-horse race with Steward and Johnson battling it out, 40 metres further back was Taylor with a similar distance back to Seddon, Carl Avery (Morpeth Harriers) and Rush. In the last mile Johnson broke Steward's resistance and went on to win by 23 seconds in 43:36 with Taylor third and Hickey who retrieved his spike fourth.
Johnson told Athletics Weekly reporter Martin Duff "I came to get a podium after winning the Northern gave me confidence, I spent the first lap getting a feel of the surface, then bided my time and went from about two miles out. I knew I had trained really hard."