10K Series History
Polaroid Eyewear 10K Road Race Series history and background
The race series was first run in 1987 in collaboration between some enthusiasts in Polaroid and some local clubs, at that time the numbers were fairly small with Dumbarton attracting around 100 or so for a three lap course. Since then, the Polaroid Eyewear 10K Series has grown, and we’ve seen over 1,000 runners taking part in each race in recent years. Last year we celebrated our 25 year anniversary with record numbers.
Over the years we have been innovative, but when we offered mugs instead of medals in the late eighties, it did not go down too well! We have been trend setters with 1st male and female prizes such as business class flights to the US courtesy of Northwest Airlines, also £5,000 paid to trust funds.
Vale of Leven winners over the years have included John Hanratty 1987, Peter Fleming 1990, Nat Muir 1991, Chris Robison 1993/94, Keith Anderson 1997/98, Kenyans Benson Masya 1999 & Stephen Ariga 2001. In 2000 local athlete Glen Stewart took the honours.
Our first female winner in 1987 was Melissa Wylie, other winners have included local athlete Janet McColl 1988/89, Sandra Branney has four wins under her belt in 1990/91/92 and 1996 as well as a 1st lady veteran in 1993 and 2000, English internationalist Heather Heasman won in 1997 with Scotland’s own Yvonne Murray-Mooney was successful in 1998.
Current course records include Keith Anderson’s 29:31 in 1997, Yvonne Murray-Mooney holds the ladies record with 34.04 in 1998. The men’s veteran record of 30:54 is held by Brian Kirkwood from 1995, however Tommy Murray was only 5 seconds outside it in 2001! The female veteran’s record is held by Sandra Branney in a time of 35:08 in 1993.
The Helensburgh 10K
By 2001 the series covered four 10K Road Races in Clydebank, Helensburgh, Dumbarton and the Vale – attracting on average 800 runners. Helensburgh holds the record entry for the series of just over 1,000. Traditionally the series starts with the Helensburgh 10K which originally started and finished at the west end of the town close to Helensburgh Rugby club, however with the opening of H.A.A.C’s new club house in the grounds of Hermitage academy the race has successfully transitioned to the opposite end of town, now starting and finishing from the 'new' Hermitage Academy. The course is flat and lends itself to a fast time if you so desire.
The Clydebank 10K
The second race at Clydebank is supported by Clydesdale Harriers, it is the newest race in the series starting in 1999. The route is relatively flat and takes in parts of the towpath on the canal.
The Dumbarton 10K
The Dumbarton 10K is supported by Dumbarton A.A.C. and it utilises the Glasgow to Loch Lomond cycle path. Starting and finishing at Dumbarton Academy the race makes it way onto the cycle path within the first kilometre, it then goes out to Bowling before turning back and following a route through the Silverton area of town.
The Vale of Leven 10K
Last in the series is the Vale of Leven 10K, which now starts and finishes at Loch Lomond Shores at Balloch. This is Scotland’s Premier new visitor attraction. The race starts in Pier Road close to Loch Lomond Shores and then turns left on to Drymen road and over Balloch Bridge, within the first kilometre you enter Balloch Park with an approximate 1.5km climb. From there the trail is flat through Jamestown and then it is over the Bonhill bridge skirting the only roundabout in Scotland with a train station and a pub on it! and on up the last incline where you turn right onto Main street and from there it is flat through Alexandria passing the Lomond Galleries outlet centre then through the roundabout and past McDonalds on your left, you then take first left from the small roundabout and continue up Old Luss Road for a few hundred metres before turning right into Loch Lomond Shores with a fast down hill section to the finish.
Fun Run Festival
There is also a schools 2 mile fun run that 13 local primary schools participate in and benefit from in terms of prizes towards school funds and the Polatoddle which is a shorter event for the under 7's. The fun runs are supported and organised by West Dunbartonshire Sports Development.
“See you at the races.”