Striders Weekly Update 15/03/2023

Posted: 15/3/2023

Scrabo Striders Article 13th March 2023

Another running event, another Irish Record taken at Scrabo Striders Running Club! Friday night saw Coleraine Ulster University Campus play host to the prestigious NI and Ulster 5k Championships. The fast, flat 4 lap course made for some good competitive racing and the chance of a personal best (PB) time. Norman Mawhinney took full advantage in the second race of the evening having already broken the Irish M65 Marathon and Half Marathon records recently, Norman beat the previous Irish M65 category 5k record of 18.02 when he finished in a fantastic PB of 17.33. And as if that wasn’t enough Norman took the M65category 10k record at Jimmy’s in Downpatrick on Sunday past, in a time of 37:40 (the record was previously 38:02). Phenomenal running Norman, huge congratulations!

The big running event of the weekend was the annual Jimmy’s 10K Road Race and Relay held in Downpatrick and perfectly hosted by East Down Athletic Club. Some 560 runners set off from Market Street at 10:30 on Sunday morning in dry and mild conditions. This year’s new route took runners out of the town to complete two loops of Strangford Road an Quoile Road before returning to the town centre and the finish line at just off Ballydugan Road. With a bus load of 60 runners Scrabo Striders were the largest club attendance at the event.

First across the line for Scrabo was Norman Mawhinney covering the 10km in 37 minutes and 40 seconds and a new M65 age category Irish 10km record! Next across the line was Andy Haylett in a fantastic 39:24 and third for the club was Matt Bell in 40:36 followed by Daniel Clarke 40:54, Michael Johnston 42:05, Peter Stevens 44:16, Jonathan Bull 45:06, Graeme McGowan 45:01 and Connor McNamara in 46:09.

First female Strider to finish was Barbara McKechnie in a great time of 47:20 followed by Rachel Bell in 47:33. Next came Martin Oakman 47:41, George Johnston 48:06, Gareth Davies 49:01, Gary Clarke 50:01, Ian Bailie 50:45, Colin Verth 50:53, Olli Seeger 51:03, John Brown 50:52 and our third-placed lady Rebecca Jordan  in 51:02.

Scrabo Striders fielded seven the 5k Relay, the biggest of any Club. What a set of results for the club’s Junior Foundations group in particular, overall first place for Riley Hanna and Ricky Jordan in 42:20; third place for Luke Braniff and Lucas Darragh (45:15), 8th place for Eva Coey and Willow Farrington (2nd female pair) in 49:20; Eva and Faye Alexander 19th (01:08:56) and Aimee and Stephen Barniff 20th in 01:10:02. The Wray Wonders finished in 59:15 and The Blister Sisters in 01:10:38. Great running by all.

Personal best 10k times were set at the event by Louise Barnes (54:01), Catherine Lavery (56:23) and Sharon Gamble (01:30:10) while Lynn McGonigal, Dawn Cudworth, Dee Patterson and Michael Williams ran their first competitive 10k event at Jimmy’s. Simply too many Striders to mention everyone, but you all performed brilliantly and did you club proud on Sunday. Congratulations all!

Also on Sunday the Portadown Festival of Running took place where Gayle Malaugh and Elaine McGonigal represented Scrabo Striders in the 10k race, clocking times of 53:25 and 01:06:07 respectively; a PB for Elaine. In the Half Marathon Martin Strachan recorded a phenomenal personal best time of 1 hour 19 minutes and 24 seconds followed by Peter McGonigal in 02:05:54 and Gavin McDonnell in 02:24:26. Colin Campbell was the club’s sole marathon entrant finishing in a solid 04:48:38. Well done all.

Four Striders’ ladies nipped off to Portugal for a bit of winter sun, oh and a half marathon among some 35,000 entrants in the capital city Lisbon. Congratulations Jenny Taylor completing in 01:54:36, Amanda Martin 01:59:07, Fiona McAvoy 02:02:28 and Martina Finn in 02:08:45.

Saturday morning Parkrun, the weekly timed running events at a park near you saw lots of venue cancellations due to ice, however 29 Striders still part across 5 venues. Ward Park, Bangor was the most popular where Curtis McCaw was the first Strider across the line in 18:36 followed by Daniel Clarke in 22:15 and George Johnston’s first run at the venue in 23:27, followed by Jonathan Keenan in 24:33 and Andy Haylett 25:30. Barbara McKechnie was the first lady Strider to finish in 25:36 while Louise Barnes and Catherine Lavery set new course personal best times of 26:56 and 27:06 respectively. Ian Frazer notched up this 25th Parkrun milestone at the event.

Five Scrabo Striders took on the hilly Crawfordsburn course with John Neill first to finish in 27:45 followed by 29:49 for Richard Bovill on his first time on the course. Linda Dugan was first female finisher for the club in 31:40, followed by Luke Mars 34:27 and Hannah Magee gaining her 50 Parkruns milestone in a time of 39:05.Over at Waterworks in Belfast, Matt Bell secured a new course personal best of 19:48 while Karen Thompson completed in 45:33. Ally Gray ran Citypark Craigavon in 24:09 while James McIlveen completed his first run at Valley in 31:57. Well done all!

Junior Parkrun takes place on Sunday mornings and young Striders turned out in force at Comber, with Joe Brown first to complete the 2km course in 09:16 followed in 2nd female position by Keara Simpson in 10:18, then Lydia Blair 13:12, Olly Simpson 13:16, Rachel Brown in 14:37 and the ever-faster Nathaniel Frazer in 15:24. Over at Victoria Park Belfast, Joshua Bingham completed the 2km in 09:35. Keep up the great work kids.

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. Registration is now open for our annual Run the Runways (5th May) and the very popular and challenging Ards Half Marathon (30th June).As will all Striders events you will be assured a warm welcome. More information can be found at .

Author: George McGonigal


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