The 122nd running of the English National Cross Country Championships took place this year at one of the toughest and most spectacular venues Parliament Hill at Hampstead Heath, London.
The oldest cross country race in the world has challenged every great British distance runner over the years and is regarded as the jewel in the crown of cross country running.
Our own Steve Vernon who has twice finished third in the event gave everything in his attempt to bring home the title to Stockport but was thwarted in his efforts by Wells City cross international Frank Tickner.
After a fast start made by Tickner, Steve led the charge to close down the 50 metre gap that had opened up between himself and the Wells City international.
Steve closed Tickner down alongside Moumin Geele of Newham who eventually couldn’t take the pace Vernon injected to catch and eventually overhaul Tickner.
The pair battled it out over the next two miles and into the final mile it looked at one point that Steve had the title in his grasp and had taken the lead by 25 metres but Tickner fought back and took Steve with less than 800 metres to go.
Next home was Andy Nixon in 56th, Jamie Loxam 193rd and Jon Walch 612th with not enough runners to finish the team event it was the under-13 girls who put in a great team performance to finish 10th position with Olivia Wild 37th, Mollie William 65th, Aimee Aiken 85th and Carla Edwards 142nd.
Other notable performances were Bryoney Pearce 28th in the under-17 women’s event, Danny Lawton 43rd in the under-13 boys, Richard Hindley 53rd in the under-15 boys Jack Morris 65th in the under-17 men’s.
In the senior women’s Jenny Knass finished 99th and Carley Davies 128th.