CLAIRE HEASMAN led the way for Helensburgh AAC with a class podium finish in the Scottish 10 Mile Championships at Strathclyde Park.

Claire, one of three Helensburgh athletes in the field, finished in a creditable 16th place overall in the ladies’ race at the Lanarkshire venue.

More importantly, though, her finishing time of 63 minutes and 47 seconds earned her third place in the female masters 40-plus category, ensuring she returned home with a Scottish 10 Mile Championship bronze medal.

She was beaten only by Sarah Attwood of Highland Hill Runners (62:48) and the winner, Sara Green of Gala Harriers, who crossed the line in 58:46, making her the only female runner in the class to finish inside an hour.

The great racing conditions and traffic-free course ensured the race was a sell-out, with competitors travelling from all over Scotland to take place in the annual Tom Scott 10 Miler, which – Covid apart – has been run every year since 1962, and which this year doubled up as the national championship.

Her Helensburgh clubmate Richard O’Grady, making his debut at the distance, crossed the finish line just outside the hour mark in 60 minutes and 43 seconds, a time good enough for 13th place overall in the male masters 40-plus category, always a competitive age group in national competitions.

The third Helensburgh athlete, Ian Brown, shrugged off superstitions to finish in 13th place in his age group, the male masters 60-plus category, in 72 minutes and 18 seconds.

Lewis Hannigan of Kilbarchan AAC won the men's race in 49 minutes and seven seconds, while the female honours went to Annabel Simpson, winner of the Babcock Helensburgh 10K back in 2019, with the University of the West of Scotland runner crossing the line in 54:35.

Claire, meanwhile, backed up her Strathclyde Park performance by finishing as the third female overall in the Dunbartonshire Amateur Athletic Association’s 10-mile road race at the weekend, earning her the additional honours of second overall female in the DAAA 10 Mile Championships and third overall female in the West District 10 Mile Championships.