Home International Cross Country Championships

The 1st International Cross Country Championships was held on Hamilton Racecourse on 23rd March 1903. It was created in by the International Cross Country Union (ICCU) and continued until 1972.

The championship began its life as contest between the four Home Nations of the United Kingdom. The event became increasingly international over its history, beginning with the admittance of the first non-UK country in 1907 (France), the addition of several other Continental European countries in the 1920s, and then the introduction of Tunisia in 1958 which saw an African team compete for the first time.

An extensive history of the International Cross–Country Union was 1903–1953 was compiled by Lawrence N. Richardson and published in book form. Two pages from that book with regard to the forming of the Union are of particular interest.



1906 & 7



The event lasted from 1903 to 1972 – at the 1971 ICCU Congress members decided to transfer organisation of the event to the I.A.A.F. leading to the first World Cross Country Championships in 1973.

In 2008, Geoff Wightman, the then CEO of Scottish Athletics invited the 4 Home Nations to send teams to a pre–World Championship event to be held at Holyrood Pk in Edinburgh the day before the Championships themselves – 28th March. The event is now rotated amongst the 4 UK nations.

If you have any suggestions as to what else may be usefully included here, please contact Ron Morrison.


Alex Jackson
Mike Johnston
Ron Morrison