The Babcock series of 10km races returned in May for the first time since 2019, with some members still having their pre Covid entries for the cancelled 2020 and 2021 series! Helensburgh 10km started the series on May 5th, with Dumbarton a week later. The series concluded in Glasgow Green on May 29th. Dumbarton also doubled up as the West District 10km championships for the year.
Helensburgh is traditionally a nice sunny spring night, but runners were greeted with damp conditions more ideal for fast running. The race took place the night before the Scottish 5km championships at Silverknowes, so the field was not quite as strong as previous years. 8 harriers were in attendance, with Oliver Reilly and Andrew Osborne battling it out for top honours. They ran each other close, with Andrew edging the win with a 35.18 PB, Oliver only 4 seconds behind. Sol Sweeney won the event in 30 minutes dead, and former Rio 2016 marathoner Sonia Samuels picked up first female in 34.30.
Back in the pack, Stephen Hanley edged out Mick McLoone for 3rd Harrier, as Mick was narrowly beaten to first v50 by 11 seconds. Alan Poole narrowly missed out on sub 40, but would be back next week at Dumbarton to set that right. Marianne McKay was first female harrier, with Charlotte McKay also running well. They were on hand to provide the biggest cheer of the night when Andrew, Oliver and Stephen managed to win 3rd team with their finishing positions of 13, 14 and 20 being enough to finish behind Shettleston and Bellahouston RR.
On to Dumbarton, and unseasonably cold and wet conditions greeted the runners for what is traditionally a fast night of 10k racing. The sheltered course tends to not be too exposed to the wind, and apart from a headwind near the last km, it was not a bad night for racing. This doubled as the West District 10km championships, and some of our club’s top guns were on show to try and pick up some prizes.
Neil Lafferty lead the way in 34.12 for 16th overall and v40 bronze, narrowly missing silver but just ahead of good runs from Inverclyde’s Jon Hammerman and David Tamburini. Their teammate John Bell took the overall win in 30.41, with Katie White taking the first place female.
Again, there were a pack of harriers helping each other round with Andrew Osborne breaking the 35 minute barrier for the first time, just ahead of Wes Pattison and Paul Monaghan, with Oliver Reilly not far behind with a new PB of 35.12. Paul was first v50 on the night.
Andy White (2nd v50) edged out Stephen Hanley in a tight battle, while Stevie Campbell, Mick Follan and Alan Poole (with a PB) were all under 40 minutes. No team prizes this week with the stronger field in attendance from all local clubs. Natalie Smith ran a great PB of 54.09, with Craig Melrose not far in front. Nathalie has been running well, and had her eyes set on Shettleston to keep it rolling.
Onto Shettleston to complete the set, and a new course was in store for runners around Glasgow Green. The narrow stretch from the back of the playing fields to the Shawfield bridge was under repair, and the Shawfield loop was removed. Instead, runners had two 5km loops of the green to contend with. Nice and flat, but some tight turns cast some doubt on how quick the course could be.
Best of the day again came from Andrew Osborne, who Edged out Oliver Reilly for top harrier, but no PBs this time. Stephen Hanley was 3rd back, nursing an injury and doing well to get round in 38 minutes. Those three were the only 3 to complete the series from the club, finishing in that order each time. John Stevenson returned to club racing with a solid sub 40. Nathalie Smith beat her PB from Dumbarton with a sub 53 minute run, just ahead of the returning Andy McLean and Nathalie’s training partner Eileen Stevenson.
The series was once again very well organised, and provided our runners with a great opportunity to get some quick times in ahead of a busy month of 10k racing. Next up is the Scottish Camps at Roon the Toon (Kilmarnock) on Sunday and the Renfrewshire Championships at Bellahouston Harriers’ Brian Goodwin the following Friday. The club is running a bus to this, so please get in touch if you are interested. The end of the month sees the Port Glasgow 10km, and entries are still open here:
You could also volunteer for this, and please get in touch if you wish to do so.