Striders Weekly Update 07/12/2022

Posted: 7/12/2022

2022 may nearly be over, but Scrabo Striders are not showing any signs of slowing down.

On Saturday, a number of club runners took part in Seeley Cup, organised by Belfast club Willowfield Harriers.  This is a fast-paced and relatively flat 10k race in which competitors complete 2 and a half laps of a course that includes the full length of Ormeau embankment and the paths around Ormeau Park.  It turned out to be a very successful day of running, with many Striders achieving new 10k personal bests.  Marc Neil was first Strider across the line, with a new sub 35 PB of 34:59.  Following Marc with sub 40 times were Thomas Steele (35:50 PB), Martin Strachan (36:13 PB), Norman Mawhinney (36:35 PB), Andy Haylett (39:04 PB), Matt Bell (39:33 PB), Neil Mearns (39:41).  Michael Johnston (42:17), Michael Burgess (43:05 PB), Graeme Magowan (43:40) achieved times under 45 minutes.  Finishing under 50 minutes were Abrar Hossain (45:35), Rachel Lyttle (46:19 PB), Ian Bailie (48:41 PB), Peter McGonigal (48:41), Mark Leathem (49:44), Amanda Martin (49:49).  Caroline Smyth (53:19) and Clare McIlveen (54:48) completed the Striders line up.  Norman Mawhinney was also top of his age category (M60) by just over 2 minutes.

On Sunday, a few Striders dressed up and headed to Donaghadee for the Festive Fun Run.  Taking part in this 3k were Riley Hanna with brother Ollie, Sonya Summersgill, Judith Boyd and her family Jason, Evie, Joel and Micah.

At the weekend, the club took some time to remember much loved Strider Patricia ‘Patsy’ Adams, who sadly passed away earlier this year.  Many Striders dressed up for Christmas and ran, walked or volunteered at Stormont Parkrun, where Patsy herself was a regular volunteer and runner.  After the run, tea and coffee, a memory book and Powerpoint slides of photos were organised by Lyns Wightman and Karen Thompson at Stormont Pavilion.

A total of 63 Striders ran at Parkruns on Saturday, 50 of which at Stormont.  The club was also represented at Bangor, Comber, Crawfordsburn and Keswick.  Neil Mearns celebrated his 50th Parkrun at Comber.  PBs were recorded by Daniel Clarke (19:25), George Johnston (22:44), Colin Verth (22:56), Steven Pearson (23:51), Sarah Johnston (25:13), Catherine Lavery (26:52), Nicola McNamara (27:53), Lynn McGonigal (35:56).  Riley Hanna, Victoria Wightman, Gillian Pearson, Hannah Magee, Dawn Cudworth and Gavin McDonnell all achieved course PBs.

Comber and Bangor Junior Parkruns were attended by 12 Striders, 11 at Comber.  Keara Simpson was 1st female, Lexie Brown 3rd, with Ethan Lappin and Luke Braniff finishing 2nd and 3rd overall.  Willow Farrington came 3rd overall at Bangor.  PBs were achieved by Rory Braniff (9:16) and Keara Simpson (9:49).  Congratulations to Keara and Olly Simpson, who received their blue half marathon wristbands for recently completing 11 Junior Parkrun events.

Each month, Club Captains Amanda Martin and Paul Blair present their Member of the Month awards, sponsored by Boyd Rice Solicitors.  October’s female Strider of the Month was presented to Sharon Gamble.  Former marathon runner Sharon made her return to running by completing Couch to 5k in April 2022 before joining Scrabo Striders.  Since then, her running has majorly improved- she has reduced her 5k time by 8 minutes in just 6 months!  Sharon is a regular at Parkrun, the club’s Progression training sessions and races.  In October, Sharon achieved a Parkrun 5k PB at Comber, competed in the Mary Peters Running Festival 5k, ran her first club 3k Time Trial and achieved a 10k PB at Saintfield.  She also ran 5k every day, bringing her October mileage to over 100 and raising £230 for the National Autistic Society.  One of her goals for 2023 is to race in Ards Half Marathon.

Male Strider of the Month for October was awarded to George Johnston.  George has travelled further than any other Strider for an event, completing 6 Parkruns and the Perth Half Marathon in Australia earlier this year!  George completed Gr8 Dundrum Run and Saintfield 10k in October, as well as being a regular at training and running a fantastic 3k Time Trial.  He enjoys running at Stormont Parkrun, but has also braved the challenging Crawfordsburn Parkrun course.  George has signed up for Belfast Marathon 2023 and will be beginning his training for this soon.

In December, Scrabo Striders are offering a variety of training sessions for both children (8+) and adults of all abilities on Mondays (including Boxing Day!) and Wednesdays.  Progression and Rehabilitation sessions aimed at those wanting to take their running to the next level or ease their way back after injury will return on Tuesdays and Thursday in the new year.  Social runs take place on Friday and Sunday, and Sonya’s trail run is on Sunday evenings.  Visit  or the Facebook page if you would like to know more!


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