Striders Weekly Update 16/11/2022

Posted: 16/11/2022


Between the 9th – 16th November runners around the globe were taking part in either a physical or virtual 5k or 10k Run in the Dark, in order to raise funds for Collaborative Cures.  With over 120,000 participants worldwide, 10 striders took part in the organised event at Stormont Estate on Wednesday 9th November.  With both the 5k and 10k races starting at the same time, competitors made their way up the avenue towards Lord Carson Statue with their red armbands flashing.  In the 5k race finishing 3rd  overall and being the  1st strider home was Curtis McCaw in an impressive time of 19:14 followed by Stephanie Graham (21:29), Ben McCracken (28:10), Emma McCracken (34:54), Cheryl Alexander (35:02) and Mariead Curran (43:14).  Taking on “The Hill” twice in the 10k saw Michael Burgess as first Strider home in a time of 47:24 followed by Peter Crawford (49:34), Mark Leathem (51:35), Gayle Malaugh (57:31) and Ken Rodgers (1:04:35).  Running in the Dark virtually was mother and daughter duo Carol and Natasha Graham, Donna Dougan and Naomi Fleming.

Striders train at Londonderry Park Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and follow a training plan put together by their coaches.  As part of Striders training calendar a 3k Time Trial is organised to help members see their improvement.  The club have used the Time Trail as a fundraiser that has helped raise money for various Cancer Charities, Sands and Air Ambulance.  Octobers Time Trail was ran on behalf of SPORTS NI Mental Health and a cheque for £300 was presented to Chairperson TJ Young and Treasurer Paul Magee.  SPORTS Mental Health (NI) are a charity who empower sports clubs to promote positive mental health practices.  They provide resources including free Mental Health Training, Support and access to Mental health counselling services.

After a 3 year gap the British and Irish  Masters Cross-Country International returned on Saturday 12th November.  Ireland were the hosts and for the first time since 2015  competitors from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Ireland returned to  Santry Demesne in Dublin.  Our very own Striders member and coach Norman Mawhinney was selected for the Northern Ireland Team.  Together with Team Mates Laurance Johnston (North Belfast Harriers), Declan McCarthy (City of Derry Spartans) and Paul Le Blanc (Newry) the M60 Team took Bronze Medal position.  A huge Congratulations from Scrabo Striders.

Strider Duo Judith Boyd and Sonya Summersgill spent their Saturday at Craigavon South Lakes Leisure Centre competing in Whitespace NIURA 50K and 100K Championships.  Taking the start-line for the 50k saw the pair complete 10 laps of the Craigavon Parkrun to both achieve Personal Bests over marathon, 30k and 50k distance.

Saturday was also the day 55 striders took part in Parkrun at 11 different venues, this included 10 Striders that tried out a new venue for the first time.  Lyla Rose McNamara at Belfast Victoria, Martina Finn, Kim Cochrane and Ladies Captain Amanda Martin at Queens, Hannah Magee, Lynn McGonigal and Paul Magee at Crawfordsburn, Colin Verth at Comber with a PB of 23:27 and Matt Bell  finishing 3rd overall and Rachel Bell finishing 1st Female on their first outing at Deerpark Forest.  Stormont Parkrun saw a new Course PB and overall 3rd place for Thomas Steele (18:11), a Course PB for George Johnston (23:34) and a fabulous first ever Parkrun for Sarah Johnston (25:55).  Personal Bests were recorded by Bill McGucken (22:40 @ Bangor), Matthew Halus (20:25 @ Comber), Jonathan Bull (21:40 @ Comber) and Andy Haylett (19:10 @Knockbracken Reservoir).  Boasting a course PB were Ian Bailie (25:01 @Castlewellan), Fiona McAvoy (25:43 @Queens), Nicola Forsythe (31:04 @ Queens), Luke Mars (32:50 @ Crawfordsburn), Jonathan Keenan (24:47 @ Citypark) and Daniel Clarke (19:55 @Knockbracken Reservoir).  Comber saw a 2nd finisher position for Curtis and a 2nd female finisher for Willow Farrington.

Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Newry was the destination for lone Strider Liam Roger on Sunday morning as he took on the G8:22.  A beautiful but brutal 8 mile run with a total ascent of 559m (1,834ft).  Liam described the route as tough but cracking with a mixture of trail and tarmac.  Definitely a test for any runner that loves a great Medal!

13 of our Junior Striders started their Sunday morning with  a trip to Parkrun.  At Comber Luke Braniff was first finisher in a time of 8:10 followed by Adam Haylett in a time of 9:04 which was his 5th PB in 8 weeks.  Next to cross the finish line was Bobby McGonigal (9:16), Joe Brown (9:30) and Rory Braniff (10:04).  Second and Third female finishers were Keara Simpson (10:29) and Isabella Haylett (10:31) retrospectively followed by sisters Lexi (12:23) and Rachel Brown (15:27).  Over at Bangor Willow Farrington was third female finisher (8:59), Lydia Blair (12:58) taking on the course for the first time, Lyla Rose McNamara (15:27) and Maisie McNamara who’s first time at this Parkrun gave her a PB of (20:31).

Another great week of running from Scrabo Striders.  If you are wondering what all the fuss is about why not come down to Londonderry Park and see for yourself.  Training starts at 7.15pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and you will find a warm welcome waiting on you!


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