The third Dartford 10K saw 374 finishers on August Bank Holiday Monday (26 August). This relative newcomer to the Kent road running calendar is gaining in popularity, with top class race organisation by Dartford Road Runners, formed in 1998 and now 200 members strong.
The previous best times on this undulating course were set in the inaugural event by Alex Money (Orpington Road Runners, 34:21) and Anoushka Johnson (Dartford Harriers, 43:14). That was about to change as the runners left the shade and sanctuary of Dartford Football Club at Princes Park for the 9:00am start.
The first record to fall went to the overall winner Jamie Bryant (Tonbridge AC, 33:45) with a 36 second improvement on the 2017 best time. Bryant finished well clear of Billy Hobbs (Tunbridge Wells Harriers, 35:07) and Joshua Teece (35:35) of Dartford-based Central Park Athletics.
It was not long before Charlotte Bates (Maidstone Harriers, 42:47) had also arrived back at Princes Park to trim the women's mark by 27 seconds, followed by the former record holder Anoushka Johnson (W45 Central Park Athletics, 44:13) and Jill Phillips (W45 Orpington Road Runners, 44:55).
There were more than 50 runners inside 45 minutes, including Richard 'Taps' Tapsfield (Orpington Road Runners, 44:50) who is pictured leading a group through the Kent countryside on a bright and very hot morning.
John Cook, who finished just outside the hour, summed up the event on Facebook: “Massive thanks to all the organisers, marshals, medics, runners and the ice cream man for a top event today. Really enjoyed it”.
It looks like Kent has a new classic and the Dartford 10K is set to run and run.