Thanks to Kevin for putting up the race results so quickly.The second Grand Prix of the season was the Dorking 10 mile, just 4 days after the kick off with the club mile champs. There was a good turnout of 26.2’ers in our club colours and a fine number of encouraging supporters.
The race is a low key event, slightly old school but well organised, and inexpensive. Most runners were members of local clubs, and the race is part of the excellent MABAC series which includes the popular spring marathon tester the Cranleigh 16/21.
Conditions were perfect – cool, still and dry. The majority of the club runners formed a pack awaiting the start on Brockham Green in the 70-80 minute pen. The ornate clock on the Church tower reached 9am and 500 runners set off over the chip timing mats and into the Surrey Weald.
The race is extremely scenic, this year the countryside being particularly green and lush but not muddy, and in any case the route is entirely on quiet roads and lanes. The mist which hid the tops of the North Downs and Box Hill earlier evaporated but it remained pleasant.
The route is more undulating than hilly and the gradients are shallow enough to take full advantage of on the way down. There are faster courses of this distance – the very crowded Cabbage Patch for example – but probably only a few minutes so. However the hill in the penultimate mile is perfectly placed to test out weary legs. The finish is on the aptly named Big Field where conveniently we parked just a couple of hours ago, but seemingly in another life time.
10 miles is the most popular distance in the Grand Prix series with Epsom in November and Tadworth in January. It is a good distance – long enough for marathoners to enjoy and short enough for the sprinters do at a stretch. Long enough to not be too intense and nerve racking at the start, and short enough to recover from quickly. It’s merciful on supporters and on the brain when calculating minutes per mile from the finish time.
The Dorking 10 is one of my favorite races, and since you get a mug rather than a tee shirt or medal, you are reminded of your achievement for years to come. That happy occasion with your friends, in the most beautiful countryside.