Striders Weekly Update 08/02/2023

Posted: 8/2/2023

Scrabo Striders Article 6th February 2023

On a crisp and cold Sunday morning sixteen Scrabo Striders took part in the Club’s “Thunder Till You Chunder” challenge, which is a horrible as it sounds. An approximate 1-mile steep ascent from the Old Belfast Road to the Scrabo Tower steps through the trails of the country park. Strider Matt Bell the first to the top in 11 minutes 19 seconds followed by Graeme McGowan in 12:18 then Gordon Coutts in 12:52. First lady to the summit was Rachel Bell in 13:06 followed by Dean McGee in 13:22, Emma Clements 13:41 with George Johnston a second behind, then Graeme Farrington in 14:46, Olli Seeger 14:50 and Michael Williamson in 14:55.

Next to touch the Tower were Alison Busby in 15:17, Kurtis Hunter in 15:52, Amanda Martin in 16:02 followed a second later by Fiona McAvoy, then Cheryl Hunter 16:51 and Martina Finn in 16:52. It’s worth pointing out that most of those taking art had interrupted their Sunday long run marathon training to scramble up this hill, which they promptly resumed afterwards. A big thanks to Coach Kieran McNamara for organising.

Two popular 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. This week an awards presentation took place at RUN HUB on Jubilee Road, Newtownards.

Saturday morning Parkrun, the weekly timed running events at a park near you proved as popular as ever with 46 Striders taking part across 12 venues. Crawfordsburn was the most popular venue where Andy Haylett took 2nd place overall completing the 5km course in twenty minutes exactly. This was Andy’s first time on the Crawfordsburn course along with Gayle Malaugh and Cheryl McCartney. Second Strider home was Michael Johnston in 22:05 with a new course personal best, as did Jenny Taylor 3rd female in 23:50, Willow Farrington 24:25, Marty McConnell 24:49 and Gavin McDonnell 28:46.

Fiona McAvoy and Martina Finn competed Citypark Craigavon for the first time in 26:22 and 26:37 respectively followed by Kathryn Chesney in 30:29, Nicola Forsythe with a new course personal best of 20:50. At Knockbracken Reservoir Parkrun the Alexanders were out in force with Faye and Cheryl setting a new course personal bests of 31:27 and 33:06 followed in by Eva in 37:20. Over at Ward Park Bangor, Riley Hanna set a new overall personal best time of 21:41 and Marcelo Gallardo completed his 25th race, while at Comber Curtis McCaw came in at 19:19, a fantastic pace.

Richard Bovill ran Stormont for the first time in 29:09 followed by Striders Emma McCracken and Jenna Lavery both on 33:06. Team Halus were first timers at Carrickfergus where Matthew came second overall with a POF 19:53 followed by Dad Mark in 25:26. Some Striders were solo at Parkrun namely Peter McGonigal at Valley finishing in 22:34, John Neill at Queen’s 26:22 and Jonathan Keenan 25:16 at Castlewellan.

Six days after setting a new Irish M65 Marathon record in Marrakech, Norman Mawhinney travelled to Wallace Park in Lisburn. He had a fantastic run, finishing 2nd overall in a new PB of 18.32 and setting a new age graded record of 90.47% . It is worth noting that there have been nearly 70,000 parkruns completed at Wallace Park and Norman is the first person to get over 90%. Congratulations Norman, absolutely phenomenal performance. Well done all Parkrunners and a big shout out to all the volunteers who make it happen.

The icy conditions on Sunday morning saw many Junior Parkrun cancellations, so just the one junior parkrunner this week flying the flag for Scrabo Striders. At Bangor Willow Farrington set a new PB of 08:17 with a 3rd place finish - well done Willow!

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 are most welcome and can try us out for free.  More information can be found at .


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