The Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire was the venue for the 1990 Intermediate Women's National Cross-Country Championships sponsored by Provincial Insurance Limited. The course was 4380 metres in length.
Southern title winner Gillian Stacey (Bromley Ladies AC) and Northern and Inter-Counties champion Andrea Duke (Mandale AC) were favourites for the race, Duke told Athletics Weekly "The National could be anybody's race, I haven't seen Gillian run yet this season but she seems to be in form. It depends on the course, because different courses suit different people. I quite like the hills."
Stacey and Duke established themselves in the leading group along with Paula Radcliffe (Bedford & County AC) and Midland champion Karen Whetton (Leicester Coritanian AC). On the two hills at the far end of the lap Stacey and Duke broke away from the group. Stacey and Duke took turns at the front each trying to establish a lead. On the last 200-metre climb to the finish, Stacey managed to pull clear of Duke to win by just one second, with Radcliffe over half a minute behind in third.
Gillian Stacey told Athletics Weekly "I knew I had a little bit of speed, but I didn't know how fast she was."