Striders Weekly Update 17/05/2022

Posted: 17/5/2022


Monday 9th May to Sunday 15th May was Mental Health Awareness Week with this years’ theme being “Lonliness”.  On Thursday evening 5 Striders joined forces with Ards Canal Path Community Group in association with SPORT Mental Health NI to take part in a “Plogging” event along the Canal in Newtownards.  Guided by Lara and Noreen from ACPCG the volunteers headed off in pairs with their rubbish bags and pickers to collect anything they could find along the path which on this occasion ranged from tin cans to Election Posters and even a trolley!!  Lara and Noreen who head up ACPCG meet at a similar event and decided they would adopt a space along the canal to “plog” together.  This has given them the opportunity to walk and talk many an hour away helping not only our little town but also each other.  For more information they can be contacted through their Facebook Page.  Scrabo Striders would also like to thank them along with SPORTS Mental Health NI for inviting them to take part, I know our striders definitely found the benefit of getting together to talk and share stories this week.

On the running front it has been a quiet week for Striders with only a few races in the calendar.  Sunday 15th May saw the dynamic duo of Peter McGonigal and George McGonigal (not related would you believe) take on the Strabane Lifford Half Marathon.  The single looped, cross border event started alongside the River Finn in Strabane weaving through the town centre before crossing runners into the town of Lifford Co.Donegal.  A reasonably flat course until crossing the river back into the North at Clady which saw runners facing an undulating route through the countryside back into Strabane where they encountered some sharp hills before the downhill finish.  A party atmosphere awaited them as they crossed the finish-line, Peter McGonigal being first home in a time of 1:41:58 followed by George McGonigal in a time of 2:06:41.

Thursday 12th May saw the Scrabo Striders 5k to 10k Improvers graduate following their 9 week long programme.  Approximately 15 striders started their own progressive journey whether they were coming back from injury, needing to build confidence in their running or hitting that 10k target without stopping.  Kathy Henderson started the programme to help her return to 10k running following injury.  The annoyance of keeping her fellow runners back and the frustration she felt  when her pain returned spurred her on to sign up and use the coach led sessions to ease her back into the distance she loved.  After only 3 or 4 weeks Kathy found herself achieve personal best times at 1k, 1mile and 5k.  Kathy plans to sign up to the next programme which starts Tuesday 17th May in the hope she will be able to push herself a little further.  She would encourage all striders, no matter what their end goal, to give it a go.  Well done to all who completed the programme!

Parkrun day, known to most as Saturday, saw 60 Striders  take part at 12 venues.  Stormont was the most popular with 19 striders lacing up their trainers to take the start line.  Personal Bests were recorded by Bobby McGonigal who ran Stormont for the first time in an incredible 24:58 and Jenna Lavery running Dunleath Playing Fields again for the first time in a fantastic (30:15).

Course Personal Bests were set at Stormont by Riley Hanna (25:57) and Steven Pearson (27:18); Waterworks by Nicola Forsythe (32:00); Knockbracken Reservior by Andy Haylett (19:18) and Elaine McGonigal (34;11);  Bangor by Luke Braniff (22:02) and Willow Farrington (23:56) and at Larne by Nicola McNamara (29:24).

Comber Parkrun was the venue for First Lady finisher Lesley Semple who completed the course in (23:20).  Congratulations on a fantastic result!

Sunday mornings are all about our Junior Striders and this week 16 of them attended 4 different Parkruns with 5 trying out new venues.  Comber being the most popular was attended by Eva Coey (8:54) who ran a Personal Best and was 2nd overall finisher, Joe Browm (9:03) 3rd finisher, Adam Haylett (10:34), Faye Alexander (11:09) 2nd female finisher, Phoebe Coey (11:40) completing Marathon Distance, Eva alexander (12:25), Lydia Blair (12:37), Rachel Brown (14:49) and Niamh Neil (16:53).  Belfast Victoria was the destination of choice for Luke Braniff (8:02) 2nd overall finisher, Rory Braniff (10:57), Daniel Barnes (12:39), Noah Barnes (14:04) and Aimee Braniff (14:11) all trying out this new location for the first time!  Bangor parkrun saw Willow Farrington run a Personal Best in (8:40) which also made her 1st female finisher.  Further afield Lyla Rose McNamara was flying our purple flag at Larne Parkrun in a time of (14:24).  Well done to you!

As Striders internal Parkrun 13 week challenge continues the leader board is topped by Wendy Thompson in 1st Place, Hannah Robinson in 2nd place and Kieran McNamara in 3rd place.  Our juniors are continuing to get in on the act with Bobby McGonigal currently sitting in 21st place, Riley Hanna in 22nd place and Amelia Henderson in 27th place.

Sunday was also the day for Irish National 5k Championship that took place in Phoenix Park, Dublin.  Donning his purple shirt on behalf of the Striders was Norman Mawhinny who took ran an impressive 18:28 finishing in an incredible 4th place is in age category.

Scrabo Striders train at Londonderry Park and are currently offering 4 sessions a week, why not come and see what all the fuss is about.


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