The 2018 Babcock 10k Series has already set a new record – before the first race is run on Thursday night.

More than 1,700 runners have already entered the three-race series which begins at Hermitage Academy at 7.30pm on May 10 – with nearly 650 running the Helensburgh race alone.

Entries have now closed online but runners can enter on the night at Hermitage Academy between 5.30pm and 6.30pm. Entry fees are £40 (affiliated) and £46.00 (affiliated) for the series and £18.50 and £20.50 for an individual race. Cash payments only please on the night.

Finishers in each race will pick up a unique, high quality specially struck medal, goody bag containing running accessories which include running socks, shoe bags and luminous training vests, Tunnock’s biscuits, discount vouchers for running retail partner, Start Fitness and Strathmore Water from AG Barr in abundance, to keep the runners refreshed and hydrated.

There are more than £6,000 in prizes on offer – cash for the first three men and women, and Start Fitness vouchers for the first ten, top three teams of three, first male and female under 20, over 40, 50 and 60. There are special prizes for the first local finishers and the Team Clyde winners.

Shettleston Harriers, winners in five of the last six years, are expected to be well represented, along with several past winners and runners from as far afield as Poland, Hungary and the USA.

Shettleston Harriers will be out in force. Only once in the past six years has an athlete from another club won the race and that was Olympian Derek Hawkins from Kilbarchan in 2015. Series winner from last year, Wayney Ghebresilassie is expected to lead his team supported by past winners Tewelde Mengisteab and Paul Sorrie , together with rising stars Alastair Thurlbeck and Lewis Raeburn. Olympic Marathon runner, Tsegai Tewelde is expected to be on hand to cheer on his team mates as he nurses a foot injury.

Fionnuala Ross, the Irish International from Shettleston who won last year’s final on Glasgow Green, is likely to be pushed hard by Kilbarchan’s Elspeth Turner and Jenny Bannerman from Inverness Harriers, who is also a Scottish International.

Mike Deason from the USA, Kamil Sieracki from Poland and Fanni Gyurko from Hungary will provide an international flavour.

The sponsor’s combined Team Clyde has reached 110 runners – look out for their specially designed More Mile T-shirts. The series is an important part of Babcock’s promotion of the ‘Year of Engineering’, designed to promote careers for young people in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Action gets under way at 7.30pm on Thursday just outside Hermitage Academ,y and the leaders will finish in the school grounds around 30 minutes later. The whole field is expected to finish in a little over an hour.

Kevin Johnson from Helensburgh Amateur Athletic Club said: “Thanks to Helensburgh Toyota for providing the lead vehicle and set up transport and to Police Scotland and Argyll and Bute Council for their support.”