Striders Weekly Update 19/04/2023

Posted: 19/4/2023

On Sunday, four Scrabo Striders were in Manchester for the UK’s second largest marathon. Known for being one of the country’s flattest marathon routes and for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, the event has quickly grown in popularity since the first in 2012, and this year saw over 18,000 finishers complete the 26.2 miles around the city.

First Strider across the Old Trafford cricket ground finish line was Dave Stevenson in a time of 3:28:07, followed by Michael Burgess in 3:53:21, Jonathan Winter in 4:07:46 and Clare McIlveen in 5:07:59. Well done to all!

Closer to home, it was We Run Wild’s April Showers Marathon and Half Marathon for Liam Rodger and Chris Green on Sunday. Chris took on the Half Marathon with a course taking in Whitehead and the surrounding area and finished in a time of 2:53:30. Liam opted for the marathon option, with the extra miles extending the route as far as Ballylumford. Liam crossed the line in 5:31:43. Congratulations to both!

Rounding off the Sunday races, Norman Mawhinney travelled to Phoenix Park in Dublin for the Great Ireland Run 10K. An unfortunate marshalling mistake at the start of the race meant the entire field were sent on a route significantly shorter than intended, completing only 8.5KM by the finish line, but well done to Norman for representing the club, and for finishing first place in the M65 category.

On Monday, Martina Finn ran in one of the world’s best known and most prestigious marathons – the 127th Boston Marathon. One of the 6 Abbott World Marathon Majors, Boston features a point to point course starting in Hopkinton and continuing east, finishing near Downtown Boston. Joining almost 25,000 other runners, Martina crossed the line in 4:12:11. Congratulations Martina on ticking another Major off the list!

It wouldn’t be a running weekend without parkruns and this Saturday saw 53 club members running in 17 different venues. Congratulations to Eva Coey who claimed a new overall parkrun PB at Belfast Victoria. Course PBs were recorded by Matthew Halus at Castlewellan, Dean McGhee at Bangor, Rachel Bell at Ormeau, Jenna Lavery at Knockbracken and Michael Williams at Comber, where Curtis McCaw finished 2nd overall. Also finishing in the top 3 was Louise Barnes who was 3rd female at Dunleath Playing Fields.

Twelve club members were first timers at a new venue this week, helped by some of our Manchester runners getting in a Saturday parkrun before the main event, as well as Martina Finn who took on Jamaica Pond parkrun in Boston as a pre-marathon shakedown.

Striders Juniors were also out at junior parkruns on Sunday, with Adam Haylett celebrating his 50th in Comber with Hamish Orr-Stewart, Joshua Bingham, Keara Simpson, Lydia Blair, Nathaniel Frazer (PB) and Olly Simpson. Opting for the Bangor event was Willow Farrington, joined by Rory and Luke Braniff.

With just over 2 weeks to go until the club’s first open race of the season, entries are selling out fast for Run The Runways 5 & 10K and kids’ 2K at Ards airfield on Friday 5th May. The event offers the flattest course you’ll find – perfect for a PB – so be sure to get in soon to avoid disappointment! With a bespoke medal for all participants and the usual Striders hospitality afterwards this isn’t one to miss out on!

Also open for entry currently is Ards Half Marathon on Friday 30th June. A firm favourite in the local running calendar, the route starts at the Ards Blair Mayne Leisure Complex before taking in some hills and scenery in the vicinity of Scrabo Tower and the outskirts of Comber, returning back to the finish line at Ards Blair Mayne. With a 9 mile walk also on offer, this is another event not to miss and entries are selling fast!

Scrabo Striders is an all abilities club with group training sessions four nights each week in Londonderry Park in Ards, and the surrounding area. Regular training sessions on Monday and Wednesday evenings are complimented by the 10K Progression sessions on Tuesday and Thursdays, tailored to runners returning from injury, or those focusing on tackling 10K distance foe the first time, or improving on previous efforts. With 3 social runs each week also on offer on Friday evenings and Sunday mornings for road routes, as well as Sunday evening trail runs, there’s something on offer for everyone and every pace. Why not come and give some training sessions a try and see what you think?

More information on the club, and all our open races is available on or by searching for Scrabo Striders Running Club on Facebook. 

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