Striders Weekly Update 07/09/2022

Posted: 7/9/2022


Starting the weekend runs early was Strider Norman Mawhinney, who on Thursday evening completed the GRC Coastal 5k in a superb time of 18.43.  This was a point to point course from Carnlough to Glenarm along the Antrim Coast which saw runners awarded with not only a medal but a T-shirt and the biggest burger ever, apparently!

As always Saturday morning saw a great turn out of Striders at various Parkrun locations .  There were 28 striders at 13 venues with the most popular location being Dunleath Playing Fields.  Striders can boast about 2 personals bests from Michael Johnston (20.08 at Bangor) and Matt Bell (19.32 at Victoria Park), a course personal best from Mark Halus (25.54 at Dunleath) a second place finish from Norman Mawhinney (20.11 at Dunleath) and a 2nd place and  course PB for Thomas Steele (19.32 at Crawfordsburn).  Paul Sheldon took a third place finish at The Grand Canal Way, Tullamore in a time of 22.24 along side his wife Lynn Sheldon who finished in a time of 27.44 this was their first time completing the course.  Parkrun milestones were chalked up for Rebecca Lund completing her 25th Parkrun, Simon Gay completing his 100th Parkrun and Mark Leatham completing his 250th parkrun.

Saturday also saw Tim McEwan complete his A-Z of Parkruns.  A challenge that began with Tim completing all Northern Ireland Parkruns pre Covid and finishing this week in Zuiderpark on their 1st Birthday.  Tim was able to complete Inch Beach and Tolka Valley during work trips in early 2020 followed by Jersey Farm, University of Stirling and York late last year.  Not wanting to leave Wales out of this fantastic achievement he completed Grangemoor, Cardiff in January 2022 and finished off in Zuiderpark which was the 6th country he visited during the challenge.

The ever popular Last Strider Standing also took place on Saturday with the largest number of entrants since it began in 2019.  Braving the rain 96 Striders toed the start line adjacent to the Bunkhouse within the beautiful grounds of Castle Ward.  The aim was to complete a 4.167 mile loop and be ready to take the start line again within the hour.  Would anyone challenge the record holder Dave Stevenson who won the first event by completing  17 loops and would Dave Parkinson retain his title after winning the 2nd event in 2021 after completing 14 loops?  Completing 12 loops and joining the 50 mile club were Connor McNamara, Gordon Cutts, Dave Parkinson and for the 3rd time Abrar Hossain.  Abrar went on to take the title of Last Strider Standing after completing 14 loops with Connor being timed out on Loop 13.  Congratulations Abrar and thank you to George McGonigal and his team on a fantastic event.  Roll on LSS 2023.

On a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon 6 Striders competed in the Laganside 10k.  A run that takes in Ormeau Park, Ormeau Embankment and the Towpath.  First Strider to cross the finish line was Michael Johnston (42.16) followed by Andrea Thompson and Johnny Kinney (49.04), Marty McConnell (50.53), Ian Bailie (50.56) and Mark Leathem (51.42)

Taking a trip to Derry~Londonderry for the 39th Waterside Half Marathon, Striders Norman Mawhinney, Paul Blair and Gordie McEwan donned their purple vests and covered the 13.1 mile course that showcases the parks, greenways and bridges of the town and finishes at St Columb’s Park.  First to cross the line and retain his Ulster and NI Championship title was Norman Mawhinney in a fantastic time of 1:25.34.  Next home was Mens Captain Paul Blair in 1:50.29 and Gordie McEwan in 2:34.20

Coach Jonathan Winter travelled to London  to take on The Big Half, describing his race as phenomenal, Jonathan managed a fantastic personal best taking over 3 minutes of his last PB by completing the course in 1:33.45.  Jonathan said the event was well organised and supported and felt his performance was down to no fuelling issues and new shoes!  Jonathan continues to train hard with Dublin Half and London Marathon coming up over the next number of weeks.

A weekend of running would not be complete without our fabulous Junior Striders who embrace Parkrun every Sunday morning.  This week  9 of them ran at 3 venues with the most popular being Comber followed by Victoria Park and Bangor.  Riley Hanna took 1st place overall at Comber in a time of 7.43 followed by Joe Brown (9.51), Lexie Brown (12.01), Bobby McGonigal (12.24), Lyla Rose McNamara (12.54 and Lydia Bair (12.59).  Belfast Victoria Park was the choice of Lappin Brothers Ethan and Archie who both completed the course for the first time.  Ethan chalking up not only a first time, but a PB and an overall 2nd finisher in a time of 7.48 with Archie finishing in overall 3rd place in a time of 9.15.  Solo Junior Strider Willow Farrington took on Bangor Parkrun and finished as 3rd female in a time of 8.50.

Scrabo Striders offer Junior training to 8 years olds and over every Monday night at Londonderry Park from 7.15pm.  With all inclusive sessions for adults every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday there is something for all.  More information can be found on our Facebook page or at


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