Striders Weekly Update 08/06/2022

Posted: 8/6/2022

Heath makes his Marathon Debut in Cork and Victoria takes another podium

On Thursday 2nd June, Newcastle Ac held their 7th race of the Hill & Dale Series, Millstone. Starting in Donard Park athletes took on a 4.6 mile loop of Millstone with circa 1510 ft of climbing. Jonathan Scott of Mourne runners took first spot in 38:24. Scrabo Strider, James Lappin completed the course in a fantastic 43:25 claiming 16th place in a field of 185 athletes and 3rd place in his age category.

Saturday 4th was the Washingbay Green run in Co. Tyrone which consisted of 5k, 10k and Half Marathon races. The half marathon was won by Garry Morrow of Willowfield Harriers in an impressive 1hr 14 mins. The fastest lady over the 13.1 undulating course was Joanne Taggart of Sperrin Harriers in 1hr 35. The sole Strider to attend the event was Victoria Atkinson who not only completed the race in an impressive 1hr 41 but Victoria also claimed a podium place coming in 3rd place female and 32nd overall in a field of 88 runners. Congratulations Victoria.

Saturday 4th was also the day in which the Norn Iron 100 took place. The event which covers 100miles in distance is an ultra-marathon race hosted and organised by WERUNWILD. The event which is a UTMB World Series Qualifier started in Ballycastle and saw runners taking to the iconic Causeway Coast and Giants Causeway. Runners followed the ulster way through Portrush, Portstewart, Ballycastle, Castlerock and across the Sperrins up the Glenshane Pass and finished in Gortin, Co. Tyrone. Scrabo had Graeme Black take on the distance over a mix of terrain including bogland, trails, forestry roads and beach. Graeme finished an incredible 5th place overall in 24 hrs and 29 mins. Although the race was described as brutal in places in a particularly hot and sunny day, Graeme was full of praise for WERUNWILD who put on a well organised event.

Saturday continued to be a busy day for Scrabo Striders as 2 of our athletes travelled to Wales to take on the Lionsgate Backyard Ultra. The format of the backyard events sees runners set of on the hour to complete a circa 4.2+mile loop and return to the start ready to start their next loop on the next hour. If the loop is not completed in the hour, competitors receive a fancy DNF medal and cap. This backyard is one of the trickier courses as the elevation gain is approx. 655ft per loop. The winner, Paul Wilson completed 28 loops. Graeme McGowan was the first Strider to DNF completing 6 loops (just over marathon distance). Neil Mearns, the other Scrabo athlete went on to complete an impressive 18 loops and timed out on the 19th which saw Neil cover an amazing 75 miles with almost 12,000ft of elevation. Congratulations to both Striders representing the club in Wales.

On Sunday 5th June, 3 striders and their support crew made the journey to Cork to take on the marathon. Heath Graham started training early in 2022 for his first ever marathon which was to be Belfast Marathon on May 1st. After a fantastic training block of around 18 weeks, Heath was very unlucky to get Covid 19 a week before the marathon resulting in a very unfortunate withdrawal. Heath was not to be beaten though and was keen to ensure the endless miles of training along with strength and conditioning was not going to go to waste and Heath set his sights on Cork. In torrential rain, Norman Mawhinney was the 1st Strider to cross the line in an impressive 3hrs and 6 seconds. This was yet another age category win for Norman. Congratulations.

Peter McGonigal, the Club Vice Chairperson travelled to Cork with his wife Elaine and Peter ran the marathon alongside Heath who brought his wife Carol along for support. Heath & Peter crossed the finish line in 4hrs and 29 mins. An incredible achievement. Congratulations to the three athletes flying the purple flag in Cork.

Back to Saturday where 53 Striders attended 15 parkrun venues on Jubilee weekend. Lyla Rose McNamara achieved yet another Parkrun PB in Enniskillen running alongside her father Connor. Lyla’s mother Nicola achieved a Course PB at the same location. Judith Boyd got a new Parkrun PB of 25:32 in Bangor and Elaine McGonigal achieved new overall 5k PB at the Naas Parkrun which was incidentally the furthest parkrun this week. Lynn Sheldon was the 2nd place lady at Crawfordsburn Country Parkrun and Andy Haylett was 3rd place at Queens Parkrun Belfast.

Written by Colin H


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