Striders Weekly Update 21/12/2022

Posted: 21/12/2022

A Striders Run Down of 2022

With the Big Freeze continuing through-out the Province this weekend many Parkruns were cancelled however striders did manage to find one or two that went ahead.  Orangefield had the biggest Strider turn out with 17 completing the 3.5 loop hilly course where Colin Harper was first Strider home as well as being the fastest Strider of the weekend and achieving a Course Personal Best of 20.39.  Matthew Halus (23.09), Nicola McNamara (29.20) and Jenna Lavery (33.02) also bagging themselves a Course Personal Best.  The course is mainly path however has a small trail section which Daniel Clarke, Peter Gray, Steven Craythorne and Dawn Cudworth took on for the first time.  The course had been salted by the Core Volunteer team both Friday and Saturday to allow the event to take place.  Showing up on a cold morning to help the core team were Strider Committee members Paul Magee and Karen Thompson along with newbie Dawn Cudworth.  Over at Valley Parkrun in Newtownabbey Matt and Rachel Bell enjoyed their first experience of running through the Peace Arch and finishing in 21.03 and 23.10 retrospectively with Rachel taking the 1st Female Finisher spot.  Furthest afield this week was Norman Mawhinney and Mark Leathem who ventured to Portrush to run the 2.5k out and back course along the beautiful Portrush East Strand.

Sunday morning was another cold morning however brothers Luke and Rory Braniff were not put off as they steamed round Bangor Junior Parkrun Luke finishing as 3rd male in a time of 9.08 and Rory hot on his heels in 9.58.

Returning to Camlough for the 11th  year in a row was Jennifer McAteer who again challenged herself to Race Around the Lake.  Not being put off by the rain the Solo Strider took the 7 mile run around the lake with all it’s scenic views in her stride.  This year all profits are going to a local family to help with incurring costs associated with the recent Leukemia diagnosis of their Son.

Endurance enthusiast Graeme Black didn’t let the cold and wet wintery morning put him off running the Lecale Way.  The point to point 33 mile route covers multiple terrain and finishes in the shadows of the Mourne Mountains.  A self-sufficient race where competitors have to self-navigate the Lecale Way whilst enjoingy the freedom of running without marshals and signage to interrupt the beauty of the landscape.  Graeme put in a fantastic performance finishing in 5th place in a time of 5:18.05.

With not much racing in the calendar and the majority of those that were being cancelled there was the opportunity to look back over the past year of Scrabo Striders.  2022 has been a successful year for the Club which currently sees 4 members in the top 30 of the Cinema Coffee 10k Series and 3 members in the top 30 of the Fibrous Fives series.  Following the cancellation of this weekend Derry Cross Country the Club standings are unchanged with the Scrabo Striders ladies team sitting in 11th  place with 40 points and the men’s team in 12th  place with 37 points.

With new Captains Amanda Martin and Paul Blair taking up their posts in April they have had the very difficult decision of picking our Member of Month.  The prestigious award, that is sponsored by Boyd Rice Solicitors  Newtownards, has been awarded for such things as being a regular at training, completing first half marathons, returning to training following injury, illness or just a time out, achieving Parkrun Regionnaire status or hitting those all important Parkrun milestones, achieving consistent Personal Bests, being a regular facebook contributor with words of wisdom or encouraging and supporting fellow striders.  December saw the Ladies award being presented to Junior Willow Farrington who not only completed the Born 2 Run 5k series but also took 1st place in the 11-14 age category and more recently taking the 1st female finisher in the Clubs annual festive 2k junior race.  Willow enjoys club training sessions and put her speed to the test at Parkrun where she has completed 131 Parkruns and 241 Junior Parkrun averaging a 5k in sub 25 minutes.  We sense incredible things to come for this young lady and are looking forward to sharing in her bright running future.  Men’s award went to Jonathan Bull who is a regular in the Mens Cross Country team where this season he has competed in Comber Cup, Malcolm Cup and Bobby Rea clocking up valuable points for the team.  Jonathan started the month off on the roads of Dundee ticking off a new Parkrun at Stonehaven before taking on Dundee half marathon and finishing in under 2 hours.  To top this off the following week he achieved a PB at Comber Parkrun before taking the start-line the following day and another Cross Country Event.  Congratulations and keep up the good work!

During 2022 the club has successfully held races that are becoming firm favourites in the running calendar with runners enjoying the diverse range of settings and distances that make the events unique and enjoyable.  Not to mention the famous Strider hospitality and welcome that everyone looks forward too.  With official races such as Run the Runways, Run the Trials, Ards 5 Mile Challenge and Ards Half Marathon all set to return next year.  Club Members also look forward to the Club Races put on including Anniversary Race, Captains challenge, Vice Captains Cup, Festive Four and the ever popular Last Strider Standing.

Through the year the Club has raised money for charities and local businesses including SANDS, Inspire Greatness and SPORTS Mental Health NI.  They have raised awareness and stood against bullying, celebrated International Men and Women Days, grown moustaches in Movember and encouraged kindness and togetherness all whilst delivering all inclusive training that has seen improvement, competitiveness and true love for running to grow.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to the year ahead!


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