Striders Weekly Update 03/08/2022

Posted: 3/8/2022

Scrabo Striders Article 1st August 2022

On Friday evening 29th July the Giants Trail Race returned after a three year absence due to Covid. Hosted by Dub Runners of Belfast a field of 261 competitors ran a challenging six mile course on a combination of forest trails, pastures and the Lagan towpath. The route provides stunning views of the River Lagan, the woodlands of the Minnowburn, natural art sculptures through the Neolithic monument at the Giant’s Ring and returning via Edenderry village and Gilchrist Bridge to Shaw’s Bridge and on to the finish. Scrabo Striders had two athletes competing with Marty McConnell recoding a time of 51:45 followed shortly by Graeme Farrington in 52:12. Well done gents.

Also on Friday night the second in a series of four “Bob & Bert’s” 5/10 km charity races took place in the grounds of the Stormont Estate. The hill on Prince of Wales Avenue is quite a challenge and the 10K entrants got to do it twice! In the 5k event the first Strider home was young Luke Braniff, placed 16th in a field of 98 runners, recording a time of 24:11 which placed him sixth in his age category. Eva Coey and Willow Farrington took 1st and 2nd age category places in 29:45 and 29:47 respectively. In the adults’ race Donna Dugan finished in 44:37 and Sharon Gamble in 49:40. Scrabo’s sole competitor in the 10K was Clare McIlveen clocking a time of 59:32. Well done all, flying the purple flag on “The Hill”.

Scrabo Striders members continue to feature heavily in two popular competitive running series. In the Fibrus Fives, a series of 5km and 5 mile races Norman Mawhinney is currently 4th place with Thomas Steel 25th and Andy Haylett 27th. Norman is currently 2nd place in the Cinema Coffee 10k Series with two of Scrabo’s ten teams placed 1st and 5th presently. Well done all.

Saturday morning Parkrun, the weekly timed running events at a park near you proved as popular as ever with 48 Striders taking part across 12 venues. Comber was the most popular where Tim McEwan was the first Strider to finish in a time of 20:22, Michael Burgess recorded a new course  personal best (CPB) of 24:02 and Ethan Lappin secured an overall PB of 24:25. Over at Ward Park, Bangor George McGonigal ran a new course PB of 25:12 as did Matthew Halus at Dunleath, Downpatrick in 22:30 and Kerrie Fox at Orangefield in 29:23.

Daniel Clarke put in an amazing performance at Stormont parkrun taking overall second place with a new personal best of 19:53 on what turned out to be his 25th parkrun. Congratulations. Kim Cochrane secured a new PB of 31:47 on her first visit to Knockbracken while Marc Neil took overall third at Belfast Victoria with a phenomenal PB of 16:50. The course personal bests kept coming, with Lisa Bell clocking 31:05 and Elaine McGonigal 35:07 at Hillsborough while Nicola and Mick Honeyman joined Antrim parkrun for the first time.

Junior Parkrun takes place on Sunday mornings and young Striders turned out in force at Comber, with three achieving new personal best times, namely Noah Barnes 10:44, Lydia Blair 11:56 and Lyla McNamara 12:15. Ethan Lappin and Riley Hanna took second and third place in 08:24 and 08:33 with Eva Coey the first girl to finish on 09:56. Eva has now ran a marathon distance at Parkrun while Bobby McGonigal collected his half marathon wristband. A special mention to Jack Burgess who completed his first junior parkrun at Comber on Sunday. Over at Bangor Willow Farrington took 2nd female place in 08:43. The kids run a 2km course.

On Sunday morning Scrabo Striders members took part in the “Breakfast Run” at Comber. This charity event raises money for the Air Ambulance and Children’s Fund for Cancer in memory of John McKeag, an inspiring Ballydrain Harrier who if he was still with us would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year. Many of you will be aware of his charity efforts by his lone static bike charity cycle every year on his birthday, 22nd July. “McBrides on the Square” provided a bacon bap breakfast to the runners.

Looking ahead, Scrabo Striders host their annual “Run the Trails” 5k, 10k and half marathon this Saturday night 6th August and the Ards 5 Mile road race on Friday 26th August, entries open. Scrabo Striders are one of the biggest running clubs in Northern Ireland and train all abilities together on a Monday and Wednesday night. More information can be found at .


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