Striders Weekly Update 05/04/2023

Posted: 5/4/2023


With the clocks springing forward and the brighter nights appearing a number of Striders dusted off their head torches, hats and headphones to run at Gaithouse Events “The Florida 24 Hour Challenge”.  Set in the picturesque grounds of Florida Manor in Killinchy, just minutes outside Comber, participants have the choice of 24, 12, 6 or 3hours to complete as many 4.9k loops as possible.  The 24hour event set off at 8pm on Saturday evening and saw endurance experts Graeme Black and Liam Rodger toeing the start-line for Scrabo. Liam completing 4 loops, 19.6k (12.18miles) and Graeme taking 1st place with the completion of 33 laps, 161.70k (100.48miles).  Setting of at 8am on the 12hour challenge were the dazzling duo Judith Boyd and Sonya Summersgill who both completed 13 laps, 63.7k (39.58miles).  Next to the start line for a 2pm start was Louise Barnes and Jennifer McAteer taking on the 6hour challenge with Jennifer racking up 3 loops, 14.7k (9.13miles) and in her second run of the day Louise completing 7 loops, 34.3k (21.3miles).  Last race of the day was the 3hour race and setting of at 5pm was Hannah  Magee who blasted round her last loop to finish 4 loops, 19.6k (12.18miles) within the allotted time.

On Sunday, Titantic 10k took place in the scenic Belfast Harbour Estate area.  This was the 3rd race in the Forestside 10k Grand Prix series.  A flat, single loop course hosted by Althletics NI, with a total of 142 runners taking part in the Fun Run and over 750 runners taking part in the 10k.  Forestside 10k Grand Prix Poster Boy Norman Mawhinney was the first strider to cross the line in a phenomenal time of 37:17 followed by Men’s Captain Andy Haylett who bagged himself a PB in 38:47, Peter Stevens in 43:10 and Graeme McGowan close behind in 43:39.  Taking the first lady strider title and earning herself a PB was Jenny Taylor in 44:46 followed by Ian Bailie in 48:54, Gareth Davies in 49:04, Amanda Martin in 50:38, Michael Williams with a PB in 52:31,  Louise Barnes clocking up a CPB in 55:04, Dee Patterson with a PB in 55:11 and Gordie McEwan in 59:54.  Next race in the series is Scrabo Striders Run the Runways on 5th May 2023, a unique evening run around the runways at Newtownards Airport.  Sign up is still available for both the 5k and 10k races along with the kids 2km race.  An event for all the family!

Slightly further afield 11 Striders headed to London for the annual London Landmarks Half Marathon (LLHM).  A closed road event that covers 13.1miles through Westminster and London City, organised by Tommy’s, the Baby Charity.  Donning their trainers striders took in the  fabulous views of London’s most iconic landmarks including Big Ben, St Pauls Cathedral, Nelson’s Column, the Tower of London and the London Eye before finishing by Downing Street.  Some of our Striders swapping their purple vests to run in support of personal charities which include Action Mental Health, SPORTS Mental Health NI, Breast Cancer Now, Sands and Marie Curie.  First to cross the line on his debut at LLHM with a PB of 1.30:53 was Daniel Clarke.  Second male strider home was Richard Murray crossing the finish line in 2.12:39 followed by Beverley Meredith in  2.16:10 and with a PB performance, Emma McCracken in 2.23:47 who finished side by side with Emma Johnston.  Finishing within a second of each other were Angie Crone, 2.33.41, Kim Cochrane with a PB in 2.33.42 and Nicola Forsythe with a PB in 2.33:42 followed by  Karen Thompson, 3.16:10 and Husband and Wife Team Alison and Ken Rodgers in 3.46:16.

As always striders were out in force at Parkruns across the province with 45 participants taking part at 13 venues as far afield as Ballymoney and Dundalk.  Bangor Parkrun was the most popular this week and saw Riley Hanna (21.02), Luke Braniff (21.07) and Stephen Braniff (31.46) all achieving PBs.  Course PBs were chalked up for Jenna Lavery (30.34) and Cheryl Alexander (32.08) at Knockbracken Reservoir, Matthew Halus (20.16) at Castlewellan and Willow Farrington (23.06) who also took the title of First Female.  An outstanding performance from our Junior Strider and previous Member of the Month.  Matt and Rachel Bell took on Dunleath Playing Fields for the first time with Matt (19.29) taking 3rd place and Rachel (23.15) not being outdone and taking the 2nd female title.  Over at Carrickfergus saw Fiona McAvoy (25.43), Amanda Martin (25.58), Martina Finn (26.17), Karl Henderson (30.44), Kathy Henderson (34.46) and Amelia Henderson (44.33) take on this Parkrun for the first time.  A special mention to Jenny Taylor (22.36) on finishing 1st female on this her first appearance.  Travelling slightly further afield for the first time was Leanne Campbell (26.17) at Limepark Playing Fields, Ballymoney which was worth the travel as she took the 3rd female spot.  Luke Mars (30.22) and Hannah Magee (34.50) were the furthest travelling striders this week taking on Dundalk Parkrun for the first time.

On a perfect spring morning with the birds singing and the sun threatening to split the trees striders future stars were flying their way around Junior Parkrun.  Comber saw Hamish Orr-Stewart cross the finish line as 3rd finisher with a PB of 9.04, Liam Robinson with a PB of 9.28 and Keara Simpson as 2nd Female in 10.25.  Olly Simpson was next in running a fantastic 12.32 with Lydia Blair hot on his heels in 12.34.  Taking on her first parkrun was Maddie Dynes finishing in 13.32 followed by Jack Robinson in 14.27.  At Bangor Park Willow Farrington took on her second Parkrun of the weekend storming home in 2nd place in a time of 8.36 with Rory Braniff pipping brother Luke Braniff at the post finishing in 9.32 and 9.33 respectively.  This gave Rory a PB and Luke his second Parkrun of the weekend.  Parkrun regular Lyla Rose McNamara finishing the 2k course in 12.59.  Strong performances from all our junior striders.


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