Striders Weekly Update 22/02/2023

Posted: 22/2/2023

The forecast for Saturday was rainy and damp, but our Striders brought their own sunshine to Florida Manor for the Annual Scrabo Striders Captains Race! Florida Manor is a stunning grade B listed building just outside Killinchy, Co Down and sits within 200 acres of countryside. We had two races here; the Juniors race was first and was 2km long and then the adults race was 4 miles long and covered various types of terrain. Coming in First Male for the juniors was Luke Braniff with a time of 8:37 followed by Hamish Orr\Stewart with a time of 8:42. For the females Eva Coey was first in with a time of 9:53 followed by Keara Simpson with a time of 11:37.

Aside from the optional fancy dress, the adult’s race had another fun twist. The time of the first strider to finish was combined with that of the last, the second with the penultimate and so on.  The pair with the lowest combined time won the race! Taking that crown was Riley Hanna and Cheryl Alexander, followed by Alison Busby and Angie Crone in second place and Johnny Wray and Hannah Magee picked up third place. All participants were awarded an amazing medal in the shape of sunglasses which was a perfect tribute to the colourful Florida theme for the day.  A huge congratulations to our club captains Paul Blair and Amanda Martin for organising a fabulous day and a big thank you to all the volunteers for keeping runners safe, on the correct path and giving them words of encouragement and support.

Saturday was also the final race of the Born to Run series finishing at Castlewellan. The race started and finished at the stunning lakeside castle and our runners could take in the scenic views of the Mournes and see one of the world’s largest permanent mazes! The atmosphere was electric, and those gold medals were within touching distance for our runners who were on track to complete the series. Taking on the 5k race was Willow Farrington who came in with an impressive time of 22:42, followed by Debbie Osborne with a time of 34:17, and Tina Hewitt with a time of 49:50. Special congratulations to Willow , who also won the overall Born to Run series prize for the 5k Junior Girls (ages 11-17), what an achievement!! For the 10k we had Graeme Farrington with a time of 1:00, closely followed by Davy Gordon with a time of 1:03. Well done to everyone on completing the series and wear those medals with pride!!

Saturday also meant Park Run!!! We had 39 runners out at 10 venues! Our most popular spot this week was Comber where we had 9 striders out running. Matthew Halus and Louise Barnes got Personal Bests with times of both 19:28 and 26:17!  Jenny Taylor then achieved a Personal Best at Ward Park Bangor with a time of 22:17 and was third finisher!! We also had 7 Striders trying our new venues for the first time! Colin Glen was our most popular first time venue with Karl, Kathy  & Amelia Henderson all running. Joining them was Abrar Hossain who was also third finisher with a time of 23:14. Norman Mawhinney then blasted his way round Dunleath Playing fields with a first-place finish in 18:23, also a course PB. Finally proving that couples who run together have fun together, Matt and Rachel Bell both finished Falls Park Run as First Male and First Female with times of 19.40 for Matt and 23:59 for Rachel. Well done to all our Parkrunners and again thank you to all our volunteers as without them Park Run wouldn’t happen!

On Sunday we had Junior Park Run and had 12 runners at 2 venues. Our most popular venue was Comber with 11 running. Ethan Lappin was first in with a time of 8:19 and Harriet Frazer achieved a Personal Best with a time of 15:31! Third Female in was Keara Simpson with a time of 11:33. Keara also celebrated her 21st Park Run!!! Over at Ward Park in Bangor, Willow Farrington got 2nd Female finish with a time of 8:45. Well done everyone!!!

January Strider of the Month was also presented to Jenna Lavery! Jenna is a regular at training, a Sunday night trail runner and a cross country runner and she has been improving her speed over all these terrains since joining the Club in 2019. Jenna prefers the Half Marathon distance of 13.1 miles and has achieved personal bests at the ever-challenging Ards Half Marathon and Belfast Half Marathon in 2022. We wish her luck as she is currently training for Edinburgh Half Marathon in May 2023.

Scrabo Striders have club training every Monday to Thursday for all abilities including foundations and FUNdamentals for our younger runners. We also have our Friday night and Sunday morning social runs starting from the Town Square.  For those who are more adventurous, we have trail running on Sunday evening taking in the various routes to Helens tower and the views speak for themselves!  Why not come along and give it a try? Full details are on our Facebook page, and all will be welcome!

Written by Naomi Fleming


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