Parliament Hill Fields, Hampstead Heath was once again the setting for the English National Cross-Country Championships. The course consisted of two laps and was 12km. Once again Saucony sponsored the race.
Last year's champion and eight-time individual medalist Steve Vernon was not taking part as he was concentrating on coaching. Area champions were Andrew Davies (Stockport Harriers) the Northern title holder, Ben Tickner (Brighton Phoenix) the Southern champion and Midlands winner Alastair Watson (Notts AC). Also expected to challenge were British Athletics Cross Challenge series leader Adam Hickey and Andy Heyes last year's bronze medalist.
Last year's winners Bedford & County AC, the Southern champions, were expected to lead the title charge with opposition from Northern champions Morpeth Harriers and Midland title holders Notts. AC
Conditions on the day were muddy after the ground was cut up by the previous races. Martin Broderick (Basingstoke & Mid Hants) had a moment of glory as he led the field at the top of Kite Hill.
At the end of the first long lap Dan Garbutt (Durham City Harriers) led a large group that included Charlie Hulson (Sale Harriers), Heyes, Adam Hickey (Southend on Sea Harriers & AC), Nick Swinburn (Morpeth Harriers) and Tickner. On the second lap Hulson started to dominate the race pulling clear of the group with Heyes and Swinburn heading Garbutt. Hulson went on to win by 19 seconds from Heyes in 39:12 with Swinburn third.
The 21-year-old's Hulson told Athletics Weekly: "It felt pretty easy, especially on the road bit through the trees, but it was a strong group and I thought I had to get away."