Striders Take on London Marathon!

Posted: 9/10/2020

London Virtual Marathon 2020

On Sunday 4th October a number of Striders took part in the London Virtual Marathon. The striders swapped the London landmarks of Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf and Buckingham Palace for our famous Londonderry Park, Stormont Estate, Comber Greenway and our very own Gin Distillery, Echinville House.

For many runners this was a great opportunity to take on the challenge of running a marathon and with the support of running on their home turf and in groups. Many runners have been training hard over lockdown and then stepped it up a notch on the run up to the Marathon. For some runners this was their first marathon and for many others it was a chance to support fellow Striders or attempt to achieve some Personal Bests.   However, the weather was not on their side as the rain was pouring down buckets from early morning but this did not deter the runners who fought the elements throughout most of their marathon.

All the runners should be extremely proud of their achievements on Sunday as it was no easy task. Our fastest strider to complete the VLM 2020 was Norman Mawhinney in a superb time of 3:15:58 showing that Norman’s motto of ‘Hard work pays’ is obviously very true as Norman is often seen out early on a Sunday morning completing a 20 mile run.

We then had a team that stuck together the whole way with Catherine Cauley, Colin Harper, Abrar Hossain and Peter Stevens who all came in at 4 hours and 10 minutes. Peter McGonigal just came in behind them in 4 hours 16 minutes; Peter showed great determination as he completed most of the marathon on his own. Then came in our Disney Princess Jill Long in 4 hours 26 minutes, then Justin Black finished a few minutes later in 4:43.

We then had another fantastic bunch of marathon newbies that helped and supported each other the whole way, with Bill McGucken in 5:32 and Michelle Ennis and Karen Farrelly in 5:58.  This group of runners had an unbelievable amount of support awaiting them in Londonderry Park.

Jonathan Winters then finished up at Stormont Estate in 5:21, Jonathan was running for Christian Aid and was well supported by fellow striders and family. Another great duo was Barbara McKechnie and Chris Green who kept each other going the whole way.

The marathon runners were overwhelmed by the amount of support from their fellow Scrabo Striders and family. There were numerous water stations set up, horns were tooted and lots of cheering along the roadside which really boosted the runners.

Well done to all that ran and supported.

The Les Jones Memorial 5k

On Saturday 3rd October 5 Striders represented the club at the Les Jones Memorial race that started at the Mary Peters Track. The race was a loop of the Lagan Towpath and then finished back up at Mary Peters Track. A number of the runners achieved a place in their age category: the husband and wife duo had great success with Paul Sheldon coming 2nd in a speedy time of 22:31 and Lynn Sheldon 3rd in 24:38.

We then had Ian Bailie in 25:29 and seconds later Carol Bailie in 25:45. Vanessa Mannis came in on a fantastic time of 28:29. Well done to all and congratulations!

Catherine Cauley

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