On Sunday 5 June, Dorking and Mole Valley AC organised and executed yet another stellar Dorking 10 on its 31st occasion providing a 10 mile route of outstanding beauty (to compensate for the horrible climbs) for close to 500 athletes.
As the competitors congregated at the start of the course and club chairman, John Jelly, spoke words of wisdom and encouragement, 5 minutes prior to the official start Gary Donald, the race’s solo wheelchair competitor, and blind runner Louise Simpson and her guide set off to rapturous applause from the runners and spectators.
As the beaming sun shone over the roads of Dorking and Brockham, the Dorking 10 would bring to light a new Surrey 10 Mile Men’s Champion, as John Sanderson of Guildford and Godalming, last year’s winner, did not take part. This year’s race would be one to be remembered.
Right from word ‘Go’, Ben Savill of Croydon Harriers and Jack Parslow of Dacorum and Tring burst their way to the front of the field, passing the first mile marker in 5:20. As the race proceeded, the tactics became apparent: the long strides of Parslow tucked in behind the short, rapid steps of Savilll This partnership passed the half-way point in 27:28 and later reached mile 7 in 38:21 when the surge of Andrew Brooker, MABAC league supremo, saw him come within about 100 metres of the leaders.
And so, the race went on and fortunately, to the spectators’ excitement, the gap between Parslow and Savill was negligible going onto the field of Dorking Rugby Club, which meant only one thing; a sprint finish was afoot. Parslow, as if the first 9.9 miles were just a mere warm-up, found his sixth gear and brushed Savill aside in a truly Mo Farah-esque finishing kick to become Dorking 10 Men’s Champion in a time of 54:56, with a shattered Savill finishing 3 seconds back and Andrew Brooker taking the final position on the rostrum in a time of 56:10.
In the women’s competition, Annabel Granger of Bristol & West AC proved to the streets of Dorking that you didn’t need a sprinting kick to win as she blew away the rest of the field over the 10 miles, much like Georgie Bruinvels last year, to take the title in a time of 62:31 followed by Samantha Ludlow Taylor from Guildford & Godalming in 63:33 and Isobel Rea from West 4 Harriers in 64:17.
From Dorking and Mole Valley AC, the crowd were delighted to see twelve home club athletes finish with Stuart Prentice leading the men home in 64:48 and Louise Schlaeppi being the first woman home in 79:22.
If this year’s running of the event, so to speak, was anything to go by, Dorking 10 2017 should be an absolute spectacle.