FOR hundreds of enthusiastic runners in Helensburgh last week, the Fourth was with them.

The first race of the Babcock 10K series took place on Thursday, May 4, from Hermitage Academy, and some cheered them on with suitable Star Wars outfits for what's known as Star Wars Day.

A total of 598 runners entered and 408 finished the course in the chilly and persistently breezy first race.

Shettleston’s Daniel Bradford was immediately to the head of the field, churning out sub five-minute miles, with his closest challengers being Inverclyde’s Gregor Yates and clubmates Fred Davies and Fergus Donnelly.

Bradford, who as a V35 ran 30 minutes 11 seconds in the Scottish 10km Track Championships on April 28, was never seriously challenged and eased home 33 seconds ahead of Gregor Yates in a repeat of their result in the Jim Dingwall Round the Houses 10K on April 16.

Babcock 10K Series at Helensburgh on Thursday, May 4

Babcock 10K Series at Helensburgh on Thursday, May 4


Bradford clocked 31 minutes and 7 seconds to Yates’ 31.40 with Fred Davies completing the podium in 32.54.

The women’s race was, by comparison, much closer with local girl Sophie Canty prevailing over Kristina Greig of Bellahouston Harriers.

Canty, a former Lomond School pupil and now Helensburgh police officer, was cheered on by her colleagues as she came home in 38 minutes and 45 seconds just eleven seconds ahead of Greig, in the colours of Dumbarton AAC.

The previous week Canty had triumphed in the Dumbartonshire AAA track 5,000m championships. Victoria Riddell of Shettleston completed the podium in 39.45.

Shettleston ran out easy winners in the men’s team race with three runners in the first four places, 40 points clear of Inverclyde and 72 points ahead of Cambuslang in third.


Babcock 10K Series at Helensburgh on Thursday, May 4

Babcock 10K Series at Helensburgh on Thursday, May 4


Canty led her Dumbarton team mates to victory too, backed up well by Hollie Rae in 12th and V50 Melissa Wylie in 14th. Garscube and Cambuslang were second and third.

Andrew Osborne of Greenock Glenpark in 10th overall was first over 40 in 34.35 just five seconds ahead of Stuart McGeachy from Cambuslang and twice former winner, Paul Sorrie not far behind on 34.51.

Rob Soutar was first over 50 in 37.06 only just ahead of Dave Thom from Cambuslang who ran 37.22 to win the over 60 prize.

Lewis McGuire was the first male under 20 in 41.27 and Mary Senior of Garscube was first over 50 but managed to beat all of the over forties too. She ran 40.15 whilst Sharon McNicol of Giffnock North just held off Helensburgh’s Emma Wilson for first over 40 in 42.09 but Emma gained the consolation of being first local woman after Sophie Canty. Erica Christie was first over 60 woman in 45.58.

First Team Clyde runners made up of Babcock employees, Royal Navy and Ministry of Defence colleagues were Alan Blair running in the colours of Garscube Harriers who finished eighth overall in 34.14 and Fiona Balfour in 48.59.

The series moves on to Shettleston on Sunday, May 14 at 10am followed by the Babcock Dumbarton 10k on Thursday, May 25 at 7.30pm. Entries remain open for Dumbarton at There is also a Babcock 2K Family Fun Run at Shettleston where families are encouraged to run together, with a minimum of eight.

Full results from the Helensburgh race can be viewed at the race website.