KILBARCHAN ace Callum Hawkins has made a strong start to 2019 as he clocked 28:55 to finish as second European runner and 19th overall at the 10k Valencia Ibercaja on Sunday.

The 26-year-old now boasts an official 10k road personal best of under 29 minutes, improving on his time of 29:03 set in the Dutch village of Schoorl last year.

Hawkins has previously run quicker for 10k on the roads and posted splits of 28.28 and 28.27 en route to winning the 2017 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon in 60:00.

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But after ending 2018 with a hamstring niggle ahead of the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan, his performance should instil a lot of confidence.

Hawkins tweeted after the race: “Had a decent outing in Valencia today. 28:55 is not bad considering I’ve only done one session(workout) in 2019 due to a small injury. Was a decent run out to get the legs going as I start my build up to my next big target.”

Elsewhere, fellow Kilbarchan star Jemma Reekie raced to a new indoor 800m personal best at the FPSG Athletics Scottish National Open at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on Saturday.

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Reekie’s impressive time to start to the year takes her up to fifth in the Scottish all-time rankings indoors for the distance. 

The 21-year-old is now set to travel to South Africa to make her final preparations for the season ahead, which begins with the British Indoor Championships in Birmingham on February 9.