Striders Weekly Update 11/01/2023

Posted: 11/1/2023

Scrabo Striders Article 9th January 2023

On Saturday 7th Scrabo Striders travelled to Londonderry for the long-awaited cross country race that had been rescheduled from its original date due to a frozen course. Club members competed in the male and female Open race, 4 laps of a 1500m course, covering a total distance of 6k. With few hills but lots of soft and deep mud making going tough, though the rain stayed away and the sun popped through.

The event, hosted by City of Derry Spartans running club as part of the 2022-23 cross country league, saw hundreds of athletes across the age groups take part. Andy Haylett was the first Strider to cross the line in 26 minutes 21 seconds followed by Norman Mawhinney in 27:23, Graeme McGowan in 29:46, Jenny Taylor 32:34, Steven Pearson 36:13 and Martina Finn in 37:37. Fiona McDonald also ran.

Our young Striders were represented by Adam Haylett who completed the Primary 6/7 race in four and a half minutes, placing 29th in a field of 52 competitors. Thanks to those making the journey to fly the purple flag and pick up some competition points for Scrabo Striders.

The Run Forest Run Series continued on Saturday at Loughgall with Graeme Farrington completing the 10K race in 57:49 followed by Davy Gordon in 01:03:57 and Nicky Alexander-Locke in 01:13:05. Willow Farrington completed the 5K race in 26:36 followed by Tina Hewitt in 52:25. Thanks for flying the purple flag guys!

On Sunday 8th January Ballygalget GAC hosted their annual “Run the Turkey Off Social Run” on the Ards Peninsula. Scrabo Strider Norman Mawhinney took 1st place in the 10K race in approximately 40:38 with juniors Willow Farrington and Luke Braniff taking 2nd and 3rd places in the 5K. Big congratulations guys! Also competing in the 5K were Rory Braniff 29:30, Heath and Graeme Farrington in 29:54, Karen Thompson 32:17, Stephen Braniff 35:08 and Sharon Gamble 39:40.

Two popular competitive running series’ have now come to a close with Scrabo Striders featuring in the final results. In the Fibrus Fives, a series of 5km and 5-mile races Norman Mawhinney took 3rd place overall with an age-graded performance of 89%. Norman also claimed overall 5th place in the Cinema Coffee 10k Series with a graded performance of 90%. Scrabo’s teams were placed 1st and 5th overall picking up some prize money for the club. Dedicated effort and great club representation by all concerned.

Saturday morning Parkrun, the weekly timed running events at a park near you proved as popular as ever with 51 Striders taking part across 12 venues. Comber was the most popular where Michael Johnston was the first Strider across the line in 20:21 followed by Jonathan Winter in 22:21 and Riley Hanna setting a new course personal best right on Jonathan’s heels in 22:22. At Stormont Thomas Steele completed the 5km course in a phenomenal 18 minutes 45 seconds, followed by George Johnston in 23:06, Marty McConnell 23:27, Bill McGucken with a course PB of 34:44 and Archie Lappin a first-timer in 27:50.  Lots of Striders took on the hilly Crawfordsburn course for the first time with the fastest being Matthew Halus in 22:followed three seconds later by Kieran McNamara.

One of the newer Parkrun venues, Knockbracken Reservoir, say for Striders take part with John Neill first to finish in 29:20 followed by Jenna Lavery 31:26, Karen Thompson 34:11 and Lynn McGoingal first time in 36:31. Peter Crawford ran Victoria Park in Belfast for the first time in 22:30.

Over at Ward Park, Bangor Daniel Clarke was the first Scrabo Strider in a fantastic 19:27, Jonathan Keenan secured a course PB of 25:38 in Carrickfergus as did Elaine McGonigal in 34:37 at Wallace Park, Lisburn. Furthest from home Parkrun this week was Norman Mawhinney in a blistering 18:56 at Limavady.

Junior Parkrun takes place on Sunday mornings and young Striders turned out in force at Comber, with Ethan Lappin first to complete the 2km course in 07:58 to take 3rd place followed by Adam Haylett in 09:24, then Joe Brown hot on his heels in 09:39 and Joshua Bingham running for the first time at Comber and securing a personal best of 10:38. Isabella Haylett took 2nd girls place in 10:42 while Keara Simpson took 3rd in 11:13, followed by Lexie Brown 13:10, Olly Simpson 13:14, Lydia Blair 14:24, Rachel Brown 15:54 and Harriet and Nathaniel Frazer completing their first ever Parkrun in 19:50 and 19:51 respectively! Keep up the great work kids.

As it is now January resolutions are a big thing, so if yours is to get into or get back to running then the Couch to 5k Program is just what you need. The Ards group is on Monday and Wednesday evening at 6:15pm from the Run Hub on Jubilee Road, with more information available on Facebook “Run Couchers Run”. C25K groups are also in Comber and Bangor.

Scrabo Striders are one of the biggest running clubs in Northern Ireland and train all abilities together on evenings Monday through Thursday, with some social runs at the weekend. Newcomers can check us out for free.  More information can be found at .


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