For over 30 years, runners in west and central Scotland had been able to rely on the well-known Polaroid 10k series to provide a stiff, early-season challenge. When the closure of the Polaroid plant in the Vale of Leven was announced last year, many had feared for the future of the road races.
However, the emergence of the Babcock 10K series has put paid to those concerns, providing a combination of both well-established and brand new events.
Rather than the previous four-race format, the Babcock series will involve three 10k road races in 2017. The long-held Babcock Helensburgh 10k will get things underway on Wednesday 3 May and will be followed a week later by the familiar Babcock Dumbarton 10k on 11 May.
The new addition comes in the shape of the Babcock Shettleston Harriers 10k, which is scheduled to be staged in Glasgow on Sunday 28 May.
These races will cater for all standards of runner, from Olympians like Derek Hawkins – a previous Polaroid series winner who will also be taking part this year – through to those whose goal is simply to complete the distance. Each race will bring its own unique challenges, as well as PB potential.
The Helensburgh route is a fast, predominantly flat single circuit of the charming Victorian seaside town. Dumbarton starts near the race HQ in Dumbarton Academy and is primarily run on cycle paths for the first 7km, making it an ideal PB course. There will be plenty of scope for fast times at the Shettleston Harriers-supported Glasgow event, too.
Each race will cost £19.50 to enter (£17.50 for SA affiliated runners), or you can enter the series for £49.75 (£43.75 for SA affiliated runners). As well as the possibility of personal bests, entrants can expect plenty in return for their fee.
In addition to Babcock’s support, the series is working in partnership with running retail experts Start Fitness and their footwear and apparel brand, More Mile, who will produce the commemorative series technical running T-shirt, as well as providing a range of useful accessories for the goody bags which every finisher will receive.
There will also be over £3,000 in Start Fitness vouchers for individual, team and category prizes, as well as a generous array of spot prizes.
AG Barr’s Strathmore Water brand will provide refreshment and rehydration to the runners, while every finisher in each of the three races will receive a specially-minted medal featuring local icons.
To enter the Babcock 10k series visit entrycentral.com.
Photo courtesy of Daren Borzynski