The chairman of the Babcock 10k Series says the event is in rude health after seeing a series of records tumble in the course of this year’s races in Helensburgh, Dumbarton and Glasgow.

Kevin Johnson called the event one of the best of its type in Scotland – and said he was looking forward to seeing more of the country’s very best distance runners competing in the series in years to come.

The new records set in the course of the 2019 series included:

* A record series entry under the sponsorship of Babcock of more than 2,100 runners;

READ MORE: Helensburgh 10K proves a record-breaking race

* A men’s course record in Helensburgh for Weynay Ghebresilassie of Shettleston, who smashed the 30-minute barrier to win in 29:32;

* A women’s course record in Helensburgh for Annabel Simpson of Fife in 34:48;

* Two course records for Shettleston’s Fionnuala Ross – 34:00 in Dumbarton and 34:12 on Glasgow Green;

* The three fastest men’s 10K times set in Scotland so far this year – in addition to Ghebresilassie’s record time in Helensburgh, Luke Traynor of Giffnock North won in Dumbarton in 29:55, while Scottish cross-country champion Adam Craig’s 30:02 time in Helensburgh was the third best of 2019 over the distance.

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Not to be outdone the ladies dominated the fastest times run on home soil with Ross’s time second to Central’s Morag Millar on 33:42 and Elspeth Curran of Kilbarchan third on 34:27 with her runner’s up spot in Dumbarton and Annabel Simpson improving to 34:42 in the last race on Glasgow Green for fourth fastest.

In terms of strength and depth across the three races, the men enjoyed two sub-30 minute performances, and four times of less than 31 minutes, whilst the ladies excelled with six sub-35 minute clockings and no fewer than 11 times under the 36-minute mark, with Kilbarchan’s Christina Rankin managing two and Springburn’s Michelle Sandison one.

There was also plenty of junior talent on display as the Shettleston duo of Lewis Raeburn and Jamie Burns, both still only 18, performed consistently throughout; Lewis took two third places and a fourth and Jamie was fifth in every race. Raeburn’s best was 32:14 in Dumbarton and Burns’ was 32.51 in the same race.

David Millar topped the over-40 men’s rankings with 33:09 for sixth in Dumbarton, whilst Rio Olympic marathon runner Sonia Samuels from Sale chalked up 36:25 for fifth on Glasgow Green – her first race in the category on Glasgow Green.

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Greenock Glenpark’s Andrew White led the over-50 men with 34.05 in Helensburgh, whilst Anna Richardson from West End Runners ran 39:56 for top over-50 female in the series.

Terrence Coyle, who was fastest over-60 male in two of the three races, topped that age group’s rankings with a best time of 39:15, while Erica Christie of Achilles Heel was the first over-60 woman in all three races, recording her best time of 43:43 in the first race in Helensburgh.

The fastest runners from Babcock’s own ‘Team Clyde’ were Chris McClelland with 34:34 from Helensburgh and Nichola Copeland with 47:14.

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Johnson said: “The Babcock 10k Series can rightfully claim to be amongst the very best events in Scotland both by the standard of winning performances and strength in depth of the fields across the age groups, and it would be great to see even more of the country’s distance running talent take part next year.

“I’d also like to thank sponsors Babcock, Start Fitness, More Mile and Strathmore Water, ably supported by Police Scotland, St Andrew’s First Aid, Raynet Communications and Helensburgh Toyota.”