Striders Weekly Update 03/05/2023

Posted: 3/5/2023

Scrabo Striders….putting the FAST in Belfast Marathon!

Sunday saw our Striders take part in the 41st Mash Direct Belfast City Marathon and we can proudly say we were the most represented club with purple vests on show at every turn!

Belfast City Marathon is one of leading marathons in the UK and Ireland and is an AIMS Certified Race.  The Race starts at Stormont Estate, taking runners across the city viewing landmarks like City Hall and Parliament buildings, before finishing at Ormeau Park.

Taking on the challenging route and coming in first in purple was Martin Strachan who on his first marathon, finished in 79th place with an impressive time of 2:55:31. Well done Martin!!!! Hot on his heels was Norman Mawhinney who having smashed London last week took on Belfast and finished in an impressive time of 2:58:57, whilst keeping the crowds entertained along the way! Following Norman was Matt Bell, with a Personal Best of 3:22:58! Colin Harper then followed with 3:27:42 and Daniel Clarke then followed with a Personal Best of 3:34:24, brilliant running!  David Parkinson then finished with a time of 3:36:21. Taking it on for the ladies and achieving another Personal Best was Rachel Bell, who finished with a time of 3:48:52, brilliant running Rachel! Peter Adair then came in with a time of 3:52:12, followed by Abrar Hossain 3:53:29 and Duncan McAlister 3:55:56.  Keeping the Personal Bests coming was Michael Johnston who finished with a time of 3:56:07. Sarah Johnston then finished her 1st Marathon with a time of 4:02:37, brilliant work!  Keeping up with the Course Personal Bests was our Vice Captain Michael Burgess who had a course PB of 4:07:02 and looked happy along the challenging route!  Jenny Taylor also finished with a Course Personal Best time of 4:07:15, followed by Gary Clarke with a Personal Best of 4:08:58. Emma Clements also followed with a course Personal Best also, with a time of 4:18:27.  George Johnston also ran his first marathon with a time of 4:21:39! Olli Seeger then followed with a time of 4:34:59, followed by Penny Hamilton, on her first marathon with a time of 4:42:24, well done Penny! Our pacer Graeme McGowan finished in a time of 4:43:55, followed by Colin Campbell at 4:51:57 and Liam Rodger with a Course Personal Best of 5:07:56.  Catherine Dobbin smashed her first marathon with a time of 5:14:54, followed by our ladies Vice Captain Lyndsey Blair with a time of 5:42:08 and Heath Graham 5:42:08. Gavin McDonell brought it home for our Striders with a time of 5:45:04.

We also had 4 Relay teams out running on the course. The team relay consisted of 5 legs of varying distances with changeover points across the routes. We had striders participating across 4 of the relay teams.  The first relay team was ‘Scrabo 1’ and consisted of Emma McCracken, Emma Johnston, Jenna Lavery, Emma Johnston and Vanessa Mannis who completed the course in 4:52:08. ‘Pimp my stride’ also ran with Karen Farrelly, Emmanual Farrelly, Joanne Wray, Catherine Cauley and Gillian Pearson running and finishing with a time of 4:08:41.  ‘Every Nation’ also ran including Jonathan Winter and they finished with a time of 4:29:04  Finally ‘Notsofastfeet’ finished with a time of 4:52:53, well done to Jilly Coey, Graeme Farrington, Susan Creighton, Stephen Braniff and Gillian Braniff. Great running everyone!!

Big thanks should also be given to our non-running support crew who were out lining the route with positive vibes and cheer! Striders do not leave anyone behind, and we did not leave the finish line until the last runners came in.

Bank holiday Monday also was a big day for one of our striders. Having got FOMO (Fear of Missing out) Thomas Steele only went and smashed the Milton Keynes Marathon! It is a multi-award-winning race, ranking in the top 10 UK Marathons and is also AIMS Certified. Well done to Thomas for running the race and finishing in an amazing time of 2:58:23!

Saturday also meant Park Run as usual! The club had 49 participants running in 10 difference venues. Our most popular venue was Comber Park Run with 12 runners out on the course.  16 striders were also out trying new venues for the first time!   We had 3 Personal Best with Lexie Brown at Comber with a time of 33:09. At Knockbracken Reservoir we also had 2 Personal Bests who were both first timers , Adam Haylett finished with a time of 25:49, and Louise Barnes finished with a time of 26:16. Our Captain Andy Haylett also had a Course PB and finished in 2nd place with a time of 18:59. Another first timer was Chris Hollies at Stormont Parkrun with time of 26:53,  who also celebrated his 25th Parkrun.  Celebrating their 100th Parkrun at Antrim was Fiona McAvoy with a time of 27:45,  Kathryn Chesney with a time of 32:24 and Nicola Forsythe with a time of 32:24. Well done ladies on 100 Park Runs, amazing achievement!

Sunday also meant Junior Park Run and the Club had seven people out running at 2 venues.  As expected, Comber was the most popular location, with 6 club members out running and 1 runner was out at a new venue for the first time.   Joshua Bingham took on Portrush Park Run for the first time with a time of 9:41. Following on from this at Comber was Keara Simpson with a 2nd place finish with a time of 10:14 and Hamish Orr Stewart was 3rd Male finisher with a time of 09:05 and he achieved Half Marathon distance on his 11th Park Run, brilliant running everyone!

Scrabo Striders meet every Monday to Thursday for club training. We then have a Friday night social and Sunday morning social run where all are welcome! If hills are your friend, why not come and try trail running with Coach Sonya on a Sunday evening.  Information on all our activities can be found on our Facebook page.

By Naomi Fleming


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