Leanne Campbell Wins the VC Race & Ricky breaks the 3 Hr Marathon

Posted: 1/10/2020

Scrabo Striders Vice Captains, Chris Green and Barbara McKechnie organised the annual Vice Captains race which is a 4 mile handicapped race. This means that runners are given a handicap based on their best performances for the year to date.

Due to the ongoing pandemic and social distancing measures, it was not possible to organise a traditional race, so the Vice Captains posted a virtual race! Athletes had between Monday 14th September through to midnight on Sunday 20th to complete the race at their own convenience. Barbara and Chris prepared a fantastic scenic route which started at the McKee Clock on the Bangor seafront and took runners along the pier to the coastal path just past Carnalea Golf Club and back to the starting point.

Once all the results were submitted, the Vice Captains studiously adjusted the gross times into nett times. The winner of the race was Leanne Campbell. Leanne covered the course in an impressive 2 mins 13 secs ahead of second place, Steven Quinn. Steven was just a few seconds ahead of Julie Longridge in third place. Leanne has spent the vast majority of 2020 in a cast after suffering a stress fracture back in March. What a fantastic comeback Leanne! Well done!

The top three gross times were achieved  by Ricky Jordan (23:58), James Lappin (24:43) and Lawrence Irwin (25:48).

Huge thanks to Chris and Barbara for organising such an excellent virtual race in spite of the obstacles 2020 has thrown at us all. 

On Saturday 26th the Purple contingent headed to Shanes Castle in County Antrim to take on the next round of the Championchip Ireland Race series which consisted 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon.

In the first race of the day, Ricky Jordan was the sole Strider to take on the marathon distance. Ricky made history for Scrabo by being the first athlete to break the 3 hour barrier. Ricky finished in a phenomenal 2hrs 58 minutes and 41 seconds. Congratulations Ricky!

The second race of the day saw 9 Scrabo Striders on the line for the half marathon. Norman Mawhinney was first in purple to finish in 1hr 27. Norman was closely followed by Dave Stevenson in 1hr 29. Victoria Atkinson was not only the third place strider but the first lady strider in an amazing 1hr39, A huge 13 minute PB. Peter Adair (1:43), Fiona McAvoy (1:56), Amanda Martin (1:56), Martina Finn (1:56), Nicola McNamara (2:13) and Carli Lindgren (2:18) also finished the half marathon. A brilliant representation of the club.

Next up was the 10K. First Strider to finish was Dave Stevenson in 42:59 closely followed by Norman Mawhinney in 44:38 with Neil Mearns making up the top three in 44:48. Neil was followed by Paul McKnight in 46:25. Coming in just over the hour was Kathryn Chesney and Claire Thompson. A fantastic performance by Karen Thompson completed the Purple team in this race.

The last race of the day saw the two front runners in the Championchip series take on the 5k Race. This time, Dave crossed the line first for the striders in 23:44 followed by Norman Mawhinney in 27:03. Both Dave and Ricky completed 13.1 miles followed by 6.2 miles and 3.1 miles on the same day which is impressive in itself. The two are also in the top 4 of the season results.

On Saturday over in Newcastle, James Lappin was the single strider to take on the Slieve Donard Race. The race which saw runners gain over 2,500 feet of elevation and covered a distance of over 5 miles was completed in 1hr 04 mins. James finished 14th overall and made the ascent in under 42 minutes. Congratulations James.


Written by Colin Harper

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