Striders Weekly Update 22/03/2023

Posted: 22/3/2023

Whether it be a first ever 10k or a 10k Irish record, many fantastic achievements have been celebrated by Scrabo Striders in the past week.

Thursday evening saw those who have been taking part in Progression and Rehabilitation training complete their graduation 10k run in Newtownards.  A lot of hard work has been put into this programme by coaches Heath Graham and Fiona McAvoy.  Congratulations to Paul Blair, Michael Williams, Dee Patterson, Chris Green, George Cash, Gavin McDonnell, Natasha Graham, Helen Potts, Carol Graham, Sonya Summersgill, Carli Lindgren, Judith Boyd, Stephen Braniff, Dawn Cudworth, Louise Barnes, Allie Farley, Hannah Robinson and Liam Rodger.

17 Striders celebrated St Patricks Day by taking part in Spar Craic 10k race.  The route began at Belfast City Hall, and included Falls Road and Botanic Gardens before finishing in Ormeau Park.  Norman Mawhinney broke his own Irish M65 10k record with a time of 36:41, came 31st overall and was the first M65 to finish.  Next up were Andy Haylett in 39:15, Michael Johnston with a PB of 41:48 and Michael Burgess (46:26).  Sub 1 hour times were recorded by Jonathan Keenan (54:14), Richard Bovill (56:56) and Catherine Lavery (57:16).  Also running were Emma McCracken (1:04:42), Hannah Magee (1:08:41), Luke Mars (1:08:53), Jenna Lavery (1:09:25), Donna Dugan (1:12:50 course PB), Kim Cochrane (1:12:57 course PB), Karen Thompson (1:15:58), Louise Barnes (1:18:42), Cheryl Macartney (1:18:42 PB), Mariead Curran (1:33:47).

Also on St Patricks Day, Judith Boyd and Sonya Summersgill completed (virtually) the We Run Wild Rabbit Run Half Marathon in Woodburn Forest near Carrickfergus.  The route they ran created the shape of a rabbit when viewed on a map!

Liam Rodger and Jennifer McAteer headed to Carrickfergus on Saturday evening for the We Run Wild Midnight Half Marathon, completing the challenging course together in 3:57:30.

Comber parkrun was busy on Saturday morning, with Couch 2 5k Graduation, 24 club members running and the majority of the volunteer team made up of Scrabo Striders, including Paul Magee who took on the role of Run Director.  Curtis McCaw finished in 2nd place, and 5th placed Matt Bell recorded a course PB of 19:53.  PBs were enjoyed by Willow Farrington (22:09) and Rachel Bell (22:33).  They also took the top two female spots in the run!  Robin Adams celebrated his 100th parkrun.

Parkrun course PBs were also recorded by Matthew Halus (20:36 Castlewellan) and Amanda Martin (26:14 Ormeau).  Trying out an event for the first time were Faye and Eva Alexander at Ormeau, Darren and Elaine Johnston at Orangefield.

Adam Haylett was 3rd fastest male at Comber Junior Parkrun on Sunday morning, while Keara Simpson was 2nd female.  Celebrating a PB with a time of 14:04 was Nathaniel Frazer.  A total of 8 Striders ran.  In Bangor, 5 took part, including 2nd placed female Willow Farrington and Rory Braniff who achieved a course PB of 9:38.  Joshua Bingham ran at Bangor for the first time, also completing his 11th event to earn him a half marathon wristband.

Volunteering is a vital part of parkrun, and it is worth noting that Louise Barnes volunteered for the 50th time at the weekend, whilst 2023/4 club Captain Andy Haylett made his debut as Run Director at Comber junior.

The Boyd Rice Solicitors sponsored Member of the Month awards were presented at the end of February.  The female award was presented to Alison Busby by Captain Amanda Martin.  In February, Ally took part in the club’s Thunder Til You Chunder race to Scrabo tower, as well as finishing on the podium at the Captain’s Race at Florida Manor.  Other recent notable achievements include joint female winner at Last Strider Standing and a PB at Dublin marathon.  Ally is a regular at training and social runs, currently enjoying running long distances with her friends.

Male Strider of the Month as chosen by Paul Blair was Matthew Halus.  Matthew has been performing outstandingly at parkrun, with first place finishes at Carrickfergus (19:53) and Colin Glen.  On his 200th parkrun at Comber, a PB of 19:28 was recorded, which has since been beaten again with 19:16 at Dunleath Playing Fields.  Matthew also represented his school at the District Cross Country where his team secured a gold medal.

Running with the Scrabo Striders is a fantastic way of meeting friendly people and improving physical and mental wellbeing.  Between training, social runs, trail runs, races and parkrun, there is something happening every day of the week for runners of all abilities.  If you would like to find out more, visit the club’s Facebook page or


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