Runners in the west of Scotland (and visitors from around the country) are set to enjoy one of the top 10k series of 2019. The races which make up the Babcock series will be held in May at Helensburgh, Dumbarton and Shettleston (Glasgow Green) and already organisers have announced a growing entry which includes many of Scotland's top endurance runners.
Elite and recreational runners alike will enjoy three fast courses and a great atmosphere at the two evening races and the Sunday morning series decider. They will also be anticipating optimal late spring weather and exciting rewards for their efforts.
Among the early entries are the up and coming Adam Craig and Rio Olympic Marathon star, Sonia Samuels. Both will face high quality fields as they aim for fast times with an eye on the current course records.
Craig underlined his potential when clocking a big PB of 29:08 and leading home a field of 10,000 at November's prestigious Leeds Abbey Dash 10K. He followed that up with a top performance in the Scottish 3,000 metres championships at Glasgow's Emirates Arena before representing Scotland in the recent Great Scottish Winter Run in Stirling. Craig's Leeds effort means Wayney Ghebresilassie's Babcock 10k series record will be in his sights.
Glasgow-based Fionnuala Ross was also in top form at the 2018 Leeds Abbey Dash, winning the women's race in 33:30, and she could provide serious competition to Sonia Samuels, who set a 10K PB of 32:39 in 2014.
The likely appearance of last year’s three race winner, Katie White from Garscube Harriers and Kilbarchan’s Elspeth Curran, who was second in all three races last year, means there will be strength in depth in the women's field.
It's not just current and aspiring internationals who will be looking forward to testing their winter and spring training at the Babcock races. Hundreds of club and recreational runners have already signed up for the three races and will be aiming for strong performances and, hopefully, PBs.
Every finisher receives a unique commemorative medal at each race and a goody bag containing a different Start Fitness running accessory at each event. Series entrants receive a specially designed More Mile technical t-shirt, while all Dumbarton finishers will receive a centenary T-shirt in the famous red and black colours of the host club.
Last year's triple champion Katie White has produced a 10-week training programme which will be available soon on the event website.
Dates for the 2019 series are:
- Babcock Helensburgh 10K Thursday 9 May 7.30pm
- Babcock Dumbarton 10K Thursday 16 May 7.30pm
- Babcock Shettleston 10K Sunday 26 May 10.00am