Striders Weekly Update 25/01/2023

Posted: 25/1/2023

It has been a quieter week for Scrabo Striders, with icy weather causing some of the usual training and Parkruns to be cancelled in the interest of safety.

However, on Saturday morning 48 Striders still managed to make their way to 7 Parkrun venues where the courses were deemed safe enough for running.  Bangor was the most popular destination with 12 club runners in attendance.  10 travelled to Waterworks in Belfast, where club captains Paul Blair and Amanda Martin ran their 25th and 150th Parkruns respectively.  8 ran at Ormeau, including Hannah Magee who celebrated a new course personal best.  Also enjoying course PBs at Belfast Victoria were Heath Graham, Elaine McGonigal and Eva Alexander.  They were joined by 4 others from their families on this flat 3 loop course.  5 took part at Stormont, where Willow Farrington achieved a course PB.  Venturing a little farther to Wallace in Lisburn were 4 Striders, including Norman Mawhinney who not only set a course PB, but narrowly missed out on the Age Grade record for the course with 88.32% (just 0.05% off the record!).  Mark and Matthew Halus were at Orangefield, with Matthew becoming yet another Strider to gain a course PB.

On Sunday, Bangor and Comber Junior Parkruns were visited by 10 Striders.  Willow Farrington took 2nd place and her 2nd course PB of the weekend in Comber!  Adam Haylett was 3rd male to cross the finish line, and overall Parkrun PBs were recorded by Joshua Bingham and Olly Simpson.  In Bangor, Lexie Brown came away with a course PB.

During the week, Foundation runners Luke Braniff, Eva Coey and Willow Farrington represented their schools in the Ulster Schools XC (District A) at Delamont Country Park.  Hopefully the hard work they put in at training paid off as they braved the wintery conditions!

It may be a quieter time of year in terms of races, but many club members have already started to plan and sign up for the races they will be doing in 2023.  Some are training for marathons such as Manchester, London or Belfast, all taking place in April.  Others will be setting their sights on longer ultra-marathon distances at events like Last One Standing (February) and Florida 6/12/24 hour challenge (April).  There are also plenty of shorter races to choose from with distances ranging from 5k to half marathon, including Scrabo Striders’ own 4 mile Captains’ Race for members on 18th February at Florida Manor.  For those who like the challenge of running on rougher and muddier terrain, there are still some cross-country events left in the winter calendar, for example Stormont XC in February.

Two very deserving Striders were announced as Boyd Rice Solicitors Members of the Month for December.  Amanda Martin presented the female award to Catherine Cauley.  Catherine has had a fantastic year representing the club.  Notable achievements include a PB of 1:32:29 at Belfast Half Marathon, competing in the Striders’ A Team at the Ulster Relay Championships, completing Dublin Marathon in 3:38:03 and running with husband Phil at Castlewellan Christmas Cracker.  She is looking forward to completing more half marathons in 2023, including Carlingford, and will be aiming to further improve on her fantastic PB.

Paul Blair’s Strider of the Month was Marc Neil.  In December, Marc set a new Strider 10k record with a PB of 34:59 at Seeley Cup.  Marc works incredibly hard when training, and finished 2022 with a total running mileage of 1689.  He was randomly selected to represent the club at London Marathon in April 2023, and will no doubt have begun training for this prestigious event.  Marc’s wife Lauren is also a Strider, and together they have encouraged their children to get involved in running at Junior Parkrun.

Scrabo Striders have a great team of coaches who lead training Monday to Thursday, including Progression and Rehabilitation, various sessions working on speed and endurance, and Foundations and FUNdamentals sessions for kids aged 8 and above.  The weekend includes social runs on Friday evening and Sunday morning, Parkrun on Saturday morning and Trails on Sunday evening.  Whether you are new to running or have been running all your life, you will be made most welcome.  Find out more on Facebook or!


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