THE chairman of the Babcock 10K race series says he remains confident the event will be held at some point in 2021.

Kevin Johnson spoke to the Advertiser this week amid uncertainty over the fate of many sporting events due to take place in the spring and early summer of this year.

The 2020 series was postponed for a year as the pandemic wiped out virtually all of the sporting calendar in the UK and around the world.

And while the vaccine rollout is continuing throughout Scotland and across the UK, with more and more people vaccinated each day, even a rough date for the resumption of large-scale gatherings remains unclear.

Mr Johnson says he and his fellow organisers expect to make a decision by the end of March on whether to hold the 2021 event on its scheduled dates in May or to postpone until later in the year.

READ MORE: Helensburgh FC boss is 'scunnered' by lack of games and training during lockdown

The Helensburgh race is currently due to take place on Thursday, May 6, with the Dumbarton 10K following on May 13, and the Shettleston 10K on Glasgow Green scheduled to bring the series to a close on Sunday, May 23.

Mr Johnson said: “I’m confident we will have an event this year. Whether it will be in May, as scheduled, or whether it will be later in the year, we don’t yet know.

“We are led in our decision-making by the government, and the government is led by the science.

“In purely practical terms, no public buildings, such as schools, are available for let to anyone at present, unless it’s for Covid vaccinations – so just looking at the Helensburgh 10K alone, which uses Hermitage Academy, we would fall at the first hurdle.

“We will take a decision by the end of March as to whether we can go ahead, either in May or later in the year.”

READ MORE: Top young Burgh athletes reflect on 2020 at virtual awards ceremony

Many athletes’ training regimes have been affected by the pandemic – while outdoor solo exercise has always been permitted, the current tighter lockdown limits prevent runners training outside their local area, or using a gym, and also leave the options for athletes to train in groups severely limited.

Mr Johnson said that most of the entrants for the 2020 series had opted to carry their entry forward by a year, thus avoiding the need for the organisers to issue refunds on a large scale.

“We rolled all of the entries for 2020 forward,” he continued, “and right now we have about 1,200 for the whole event – roughly 400 for each race.

“Even if, at the end of March, it is judged safe to hold the event in May, the challenge then becomes whether we can motivate enough people to enter at relatively short notice, especially since some people will have been sitting on their hands since March of last year.”

Keep up with all the latest sport headlines from across the Helensburgh and Lomond area