THE men’s and women’s winners from last year’s Babcock Helensburgh 10K are both intending to return to the town to defend their titles next month – and the organisers say they think there’s a real prospect of the series record being broken.

Daniel Bradford of Shettleston Harriers was the first male runner across the line in 2023 in a time of 31 minutes and 28 seconds, with Sophie Canty of Dumbarton AAC following him across the line in 39:08.

And series chairman Kevin Johnson says he expects all of the races in this year’s Babcock 10K Series to be won inside 30 minutes.

Kevin said: “Other leading contenders are expected to be Sonia Samuels, who won in Helensburgh and on Glasgow Green in 2022; twice winner, Fionnuala Ross of Shettleston; defending Helensburgh champion from last year Sophie Canty, and local rival Emily Carroll.

“It is also expected that past winner, Annabel Simpson from Fife will join them.

“Shettleston’s Daniel Bradford is planning to defend his title in Helensburgh, and clubmate Jamie Burns, the Scottish 10,000 metres champion is expected to race too, while John Bell, the Scottish 10K Road champion is expected to figure in the line up as is last year’s Dumbarton winner Taha Ghafari.”

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Two of last year’s series winners represented Team GB in the World Cross-Country Championships in Belgrade on March 30, with Calum Johnson of Gateshead the second male British athlete to finish, in 44th place, and 19-year-old Natasha Phillips, from Dundee, finishing in an impressive 20th place in the junior race at her first World Championships.

Calum won the men’s Shettleston race last year in a course record 29:45, while Natasha set a women's series record of 32:57 in the same event - slashing more than a minute off the previous best.

The men's series record, though, was set in Helensburgh and belongs to Shettleston’s Olympic steeplechaser Wayney Ghebresilassie, who completed the 2019 race in 29 minutes and 32 seconds.

In a change to the programme from previous years, this year’s series begins with the Shettleston 10K on Glasgow Green on Sunday, May 12, with the Dumbarton 10K following on Thursday, May 23 and the Helensburgh 10K – previously the opening event in the series – bringing down the curtain on Thursday, May 30, with the starter’s gun being fired at Hermitage Academy at 7.30pm.

But the race isn’t just about the elite athletes at the front – and Kevin has also revealed that more than 180 entries have already been received from among military and civilian staff at HMNB Clyde, a long-standing and enthusiastic supporter not just of the Helensburgh race but of the series as a whole.

Team Clyde winners from last year were Alan Blair and Fiona Balfour.

Helensburgh Advertiser: Team Clyde are always enthusiastic backers of the Babcock Helensburgh 10KTeam Clyde are always enthusiastic backers of the Babcock Helensburgh 10K (Image: Daren Borzynski)

Meanwhile, in addition to their organising of, and training for, this year’s race, members of Helensburgh AAC have been taking time out to design and model some of this year’s series merchandise.

Stuart Scott from HAAC has designed the two-tone blue panelled T-shirt that will be given to every single entrant in the series, produced by Start Fitness, while employees of Babcock, the MoD and the Royal Navy will all wear their unique ‘Team Clyde’ shirt.

In addition to a unique commemorative medal, every finisher in each of the three races will receive specially designed Start Fitness merchandise with Babcock branding – a beanie hat at the Shettleston race, running socks in Dumbarton, and a bandana in Helensburgh.

There will also be more than £6,000 in cash and voucher prizes across the series, with prizes for the first ten men and women, first three teams, age group and local community awards, as well as two dozen spot prizes at each race.

Helensburgh will host the Scottish Athletics West District Championships as part of the race, and Dumbarton the Dunbartonshire AAA Championships.

If you haven’t already entered you can do so now at, while information about the Babcock 10K Series as a whole is available at