Striders Weekly Update 10/05/2023

Posted: 10/5/2023

What better way to start Coronation weekend than running the popular Run the Runways event at Newtownards airport, so on Friday past the 4th edition got underway with a 2-kilometre Kids race, officially measured and chip-timed.

First Scrabo Strider Junior to finish was Hamish Orr-Stewart in a fantastic 8 minutes 3 seconds (overall 3rd place) followed thirty seconds later by Joe Brown, then Harry McCready and Harry Harper in 08:50 and 09:02 respectively. Rory Braniff was next in 09:11 followed by Keara Simpson in 9:49 Joshua Bingham 9:51, Calum McCready 11:15, Phoebe Coey 11:27, Emma Creighton 11:30 and Joel Boyd in 12:07.

Next across the line for Scrabo was Olly Simpson in 12:42 with both Maddie Dynes and Liam Robinson just a second later, then Amy Sloan in 12:47, Jake Clarke 12:49, Nathaniel Frazer 12:51, Edward Farrelly 13:36, Micah Boyd 13:45, Dylan Graham 13:51, Jack Robinson 13:55 and Rachel Brown in 13:57. A great turnout and great performance by the club juniors.

Next up was the 5km race which is one lap of all three runways. Conditions remained dry and mild, with just a slight breeze to cool the competitors down. Fifty-seven Scrabo Striders competed with Colin Harper the first to cross the line in a fantastic 19 minutes 47 seconds followed Luke Braniff with a personal best (PB) of 20:20, Catherine Cauley 21:19, Willow Farrington 22:12, Rachel Bell 22:27 (PB), Mark Arnold 23:28, Ollie Seeger and Emma Clements 24:00 exactly followed by Darren Johnston in 24:52. In the under 27 minutes grouping were Amanda Martin 25:05, Bobby McGonigal 25:14, Eva Coey 25:36, Rachel Boyle 25:39, Karen Farrelly 25:59 (PB), Catherine Lavery 26:17 (PB) and Kris Williams with a personal best time of 26:01.

Sub 30 minutes Scrabo finishers were Ewan Creighton in 27:12 followed by Susan Creighton a second later, Chris Burns 27:24, Sarah Luce 27:49 (PB), Catherine Dobbin 28:23 (PB), Christopher Russell 28:43, Faye Alexander 29:03, Jenna Lavery 29:44 and Emma McCracken 29:59. Elaine Johnston and Luke Mars finished together in 30:01 followed by Wendy Thompson in 30:11, Kerrie Fox and Janice McCartney (first-timer) in 30:48, then Natasha Graham in 31:15 (PB), Stephen Braniff 31:16 (PB), Angie Crone 31:18, Cheryl Alexander 31:31, Carol Graham with a course personal best of 31:50 and Karen Clarke in 31:41.

Sub 35 minutes were Joanne and Johnny Wray in 32:19, Hannah Magee 32:36, Naomi Magowan 32:55, Judith Boyd and Sonya Summersgill 33:17, Karen Thompson 33:33, Lexi Brown 33:50, Eva Alexander 33:53, Jennifer McAteer first time in 34:34 followed by Aimee Braniff and Jilly Coey both with PBs in 34:47 and Gillian Kerr with a 34:48 PB time. Finishing up for Scrabo were Cathy Allen 36:46, Donna Dugan 37:20, Kim Cochrane 37:42, Cheryl McCartney 38:06, Lynn McGonigal with a huge course personal best by 4 minutes in 38:46 followed by Mariead Curran 40:43 PB, Christine Kirkwood 41:19 and Sharon Gamble 42:02 (PB). Well done all.

The 5km competition was won by Jordan Heron from Larne Athletic in an amazing 15:40 and the first placed lady was Fiona McQuillan from North Down Athletic in 18:54. The final race of the evening was the two lap 10km which was won by Chris McCaffrey of Saintfield Striders in a phenomenal 34:01 with first lady finished in 39:27, Nicola Black from Roadrunners AC. Huge Congratulations folks.

Scrabo Striders has 31 entrants in the 10km with Thomas Steele first to finish in 37:36 closely followed by Norman Mawhinney in 37:43, then Matt Bell in 41:06 and Michael Johnston with a personal best 41:42. Next came Graeme Black in 44:10, Jonathan Bull 44:29 (PB) his first sub 45, Michael Burgess with a course PB of 44:37, Peter Crawford 45:24, Graeme McGowan 46:50 and Dean McGhee with a PB of 47:37.

First lady Strider was Sarah Johnston in 49:06 with her father George Johnston in the same time. Then came Gareth Davies 49:14, Peter Gray 49:43, Duncan McAllister 49:35, John Brown 50:23, Michael Williams 51:15 (PB), Chris Millar 52:01 and George McGonigal in 52:29. Next for the Club came Christopher Murdock in 53:01 followed by Louise Barnes 54:08 PB, Clare McIlveen 54:46, Graeme Farrington 54:55, Hector Adair 55:17, Paul Kirkwood 55:45, and Ian Frazer in 55:34. Then came Heath Graham in 56:17, Chris Hollies 56:33, Mark Kearns 58:16, Ken Rodgers 59:12 and Dee Patterson in 01:00:44.

Run the Runways is an Athletics NI officially certified distance competition where an impressive 23 personal best times and 4 course personal best times were recorded by Scrabo Strider athletes. With over 500 runners taking part, it is no mean feat to organise so huge thanks to club chair and vice-chair Hannah Robinson and Peter McGonigal, the organising committee and a small army of volunteers for making it all happen so smoothly. Thanks also to the event sponsor Abbey Tiles. Runways was also part of the Forestside 10K Race Series, which saw Norman Mawhinney retain his overall first placement.

Even after this some 43 Scrabo Striders got stuck into Parkrun, the weekly Saturday morning 5km timed run events across nine different venues. Bangor was most popular where Norman Mawhinney took overall 3rd place in 18:59 followed by Andy Haylett in 19:12 and Daniel Clarke, celebrating his 50th Parkrun completed the course in 19 minutes 28 seconds! Matt Bell recorded a course personal best (CPB) time of 20:42, followed by Rachel Lyttle with a CPB of 23:10 and Adam Haylett who secured a new Parkrun PB of 24:08 in his first outing at Ward Park.

Over at Comber Parkrun David McMahon was first Strider home in 25:32 followed by Martina Finn with a new CPB of 25:34, while over at Stormont Willow Farrington was first in purple in 22:58 and Karen Wilson secured a new personal best time of 30:48. Peter and Elaine McGonigal ran at Ormeau where Elaine secured a CPB of 33:37 while Matthew Halus grabbed another CPB at Castlewellan in an impressive 19:56. Sisters Gillian Pearson and Sheena Crone picked up a PB of 29:27 and CPB of 30:31 down in Enniskillen, well done ladies.

Fresh from his 3rd place at Runways 2km, Hamish Orr-Stewart got himself a new PB of 8 minutes 59 seconds at Comber Junior Parkrun on Sunday, as did Keara Simpson in 9:42 to claim 2nd female. Luke Braniff took 1st place at Bangor in a time of 8:15 while Willow Farrington secured 3rd in 8:29. Over at Victoria Park in Belfast Joshua Bingham recorded a new personal best of 9:09. Well done all, Club Juniors just go from strength to strength.

Two Scrabo Striders took part in the Belfast Castle to Carrickfergus Castle endurance trail race. In moist underfoot conditions Graeme Black finished the 50km event in 5 hours, 49 minutes and 40 seconds while Joanne McCandless completed the trail Marathon in 06:55:29. Well done guys.

This article is heavy with the term personal best and that’s not by accident, its down the personal commitment of each individual runner and the quality training and support they receive at Scrabo Striders Running Club. We have sessions available four times a week, so why not come along and join in. More information at


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