Striders Weekly Update 26/04/2023

Posted: 26/4/2023

In the midst of a busy marathon month, Scrabo Striders runners have been breaking records in London.

The first race of the week attended by club members was DkIT Dundalk 10k on Thursday.  Norman Mawhinney was the first over 60 male to finish in 38:48.  He was followed by Mark Arnold in 49:36.

Jenna Lavery headed to Craigavon on Saturday for the Almac 10k Fun Run, where all of the entry fees were donated to Southern Area Hospice.  Jenna had a fantastic race around the lakes, finishing in a personal best time of 1:01:23.

Having completed Warsaw Marathon in September 2022, Colin Campbell returned to Poland to compete in the 20th Cracovia Marathon on Sunday.  Despite suffering from a tooth infection over the weekend, Colin still went out and completed the event in 5:42:26.

Just 6 months since the 2022 event, TCS London Marathon returned on Sunday.  Though the UK’s biggest marathon is known among runners for being very hard to secure a place in, 9 Striders were fortunate enough to cross the famous finish line on The Mall.  There is always a lot of excitement surrounding this race, with club members watching on live TV, tracking their fellow runners on the app, or watching the finish line cameras hoping to see those they know enjoy their moment of glory!  First Strider across the line was Marc Neil with an incredible time of 2:42:19, a new Scrabo club marathon record!  Also continuing his habit of breaking records was Norman Mawhinney, who broke his own Irish M65 marathon record with 2:54:47 and became British M65 Marathon Champion!  There were also brilliant performances from Rachel Boyle (4:23:48), Cheryl Hunter (4:29:07), Mark Gilmore (4:42:09), Gavin McDonnell (5:33:43), Chris Green (5:39:10), Jennifer McAteer (6:00:03) and Wendy Thompson (6:07:37).

Amanda Martin and Paul Blair completed a remarkable year serving the club as Captains at the end of March, handing over to Judith Boyd and Andy Haylett for 2023/4.  One of their last duties was to announce their Boyd Rice Solicitors Members of the Month for March, Catherine Lavery and Martin Strachan.

Catherine is highly involved in Scrabo Striders, works hard to improve her running and is always congratulating and encouraging others.  She has completed an impressive 129 parkruns, as well as being a volunteer on several occasions.  In March she achieved a 10k PB (56:23) at Jimmy’s, and also raced at Spar Craic 10k and Queen’s 5k.  Catherine is looking forward to Ards Half Marathon in June, where she hopes to achieve a sub 2 hour time.

Having joined in more recent times after a move from Scotland, Martin Strachan has really made his mark in the club.  In March, Martin set a new Striders 10 mile record with 59:53 in Larne, as well as achieving a half marathon PB (1:19:24) and 12th place finish in Portadown.  He will run his first marathon in Belfast at the end of April, and his fellow Striders are looking forward to seeing what he can do!

37 Striders attended Parkruns on Saturday morning, including 8 who tried a venue for the first time.  Doing a spot of tourism in England were Fiona McAvoy (course PB 25:59 Evesham), and Gavin McDonnell, warming up for London Marathon at Fulham Palace.  Also venturing further than Belfast were Gordon Coutts (Portrush), Darren and Elaine Johnston (Antrim), and Kathryn Chesney.  PBs were celebrated by Matt Bell (8th at Stormont 19:18), Rachel Lyttle (5th female at Stormont 22:33), Michael Williams (Comber 24:11) and Luke Braniff (Victoria 20:58).  Andy Haylett (Comber 19:08) and Stephen Braniff (Victoria 32:38) recorded Course PBs.  Jenny Taylor was 4th female at Bangor, and Willow Farrington was 1st female and 4th overall at Colin Glen.  5 Striders were in the top 11 at Comber, with Curtis McCaw 1st, Thomas Steele 3rd, Andy Haylett 4th, Matthew Halus 7th and Daniel Clarke 11th.  Stephen Braniff ran his 25th parkrun, while Luke Mars celebrated his 50th event at Waterworks.

At Junior Parkrun on Sunday morning, PBs were recorded by Maisie McNamara (19:45 Comber), Phoebe Coey (10:49 Bangor) and Nathaniel Frazer (12:36 on his first appearance at Belfast Victoria).  Luke Braniff and Willow Farrington came 2nd and 3rd respectively in Bangor, while Keara Simpson was 2nd female and Hamish Orr-Stewart 3rd male in Comber.  A total of 16 junior Striders took part.

If you would like to meet friendly people and improve your fitness and wellbeing, search for Scrabo Striders on Facebook or visit .  There are 4 training sessions, 2 social runs, Parkruns, various races and a trail run every week.  New members are most welcome!

Michael Burgess


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