RUNNERS from Helensburgh Amateur Athletic Club took to the streets of West Dunbartonshire last weekend as they completed the 2020 Balloch to Clydebank half marathon.

The 13.1 mile race, organised by the 13 clubs comprising the Dunbartonshire Amateur Athletics Association, began at Loch Lomond Shores and saw all sorts of weather conditions throughout as the 407 brave runners traversed a challenging cross-country and road course.

During the “marathon boom” of the 1980s, the event regularly attracted more than 300 participants, making it one of the most popular races in the west of Scotland.

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Barry Queen (one hour, 20 minutes, 56 seconds), Euan Crumley (one hour, 23 minutes and 25 seconds), Michelle Melvile (one hour, 48 minutes and 33 seconds) and Debbie Savage (two hours, 12 minutes and 25 seconds) registered their times for the Helensburgh club, while the field also included a number of non-affiliated local athletes, including the Advertiser’s own Andy Galloway, who completed the course in two hours and two seconds.

The race was one of few sporting events that went ahead across the country, with the coronavirus pandemic causing many major public gatherings to be cancelled.

Ryan Thomson of Cambuslang Harriers ran out a comfortable winner of the men’s race in 66 minutes and 23 seconds, the fastest time for around a decade, taking the West District men’s title in the process.

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He was chased home by Kevin Wood of St Andrew’s University in a creditable 68.14 and John Bell from Inverclyde in 68.38 - the first time in many years that the top three runners have finished inside 70 minutes.

Ann Robin from Bellahouston Road Runners led the ladies home in 86.40, claiming the West District title, whilst Sophie Chisholm from Glasgow Uni was second in 87.13, picking up both the student title and the Dunbartonshire gold medal.

Metro Aberdeen’s Kirsty Mitchell completed the top three in 87.56.

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