THE Babcock 10K Series will return in the spring of next year, the organisers have announced.

After being forced to cancel the events in both 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, series chairman Kevin Johnson revealed this week that the three-race series will return to the roads and paths of Helensburgh, Dumbarton and Glasgow Green in May 2022.

As with previous events, the series will kick off with the Helensburgh 10K, starting at Hermitage Academy on Thursday, May 5 at 7.30pm.

The Dumbarton 10K will follow on Thursday, May 12, again at 7.30pm, and the final race of the series, the Shettleston 10K, will be run on Glasgow Green on Sunday, May 29 at 10am.

The three host clubs – Helensburgh Athletics Club, Dumbarton Athletics Club and Shettleston Harriers – last staged their events in 2019, first of all delaying their 2020 events to the autumn and then the following spring, without success. The 2020 and 2021 events were subsequently delayed due to Covid-19.

There are already nearly 1,200 entries for next year’s three races, either carried over from 2020 or received since entries opened recently.

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Kenny Douglas, managing director of Babcock at HM Naval Base Clyde, said: “We are really pleased to support the 10K Series again, and look forward to the events and our employees taking part.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for runners of all ages and abilities to get involved.”

The series is for everyone, from those contemplating their first 10K and requiring support and guidance with their training programme, through to experienced recreational runners and more serious club athletes, to Olympians and World Championship representatives.

Weynay Ghebresilassie, who ran for his native Eritrea as an 18-year-old in the 2012 London Olympic steeplechase, is planning to include the series in his racing programme once again.

He will be racing in the Rotterdam Marathon in March to try and secure a place in the Scottish team for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in August.

Weynay set a new course record in Helensburgh in 2019 of 29 minutes and 32 seconds, and also eased to victory in the Shettleston race on Glasgow Green.

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Luke Traynor broke 30 minutes in Dumbarton with an impressive 29 minutes and 55 seconds, to win by nearly a minute and a half.

Fionnuala Ross, also of host club Shettleston, was dominant again last time, setting a course record in Dumbarton of 34 minutes to finish ahead of ever-present rivals, Elspeth Curran of Kilbarchan and Annabel Simpson from Fife.

Fionnuala also prevailed on Glasgow Green in the final race, again going very close to 34 minutes and another new record of 34.08.

Annabel Simpson set record figures in the first race at Helensburgh with a high-quality 34 minutes and 48 seconds.

Every finisher in the event will receive a unique commemorative medal and goody bag at each race, and series entrants will receive a special Babcock 10k backpack.

There will be more than £6,000 in cash prizes and Start Fitness vouchers, too, with bonuses for course and series records, and dozens of spot prizes at every race for those not chasing records.

Entries are open now by searching for ‘Babcock 10K Series’ at entry Series entries are £45 and £51 for unaffiliated runners, and individual races are £21 and £23 respectively.