Striders Weekly Update 18/05/2023

Posted: 18/5/2023

On Friday, over 150 runners assembled in the evening sunshine in Crossgar for the Glasswater Primary School 5K & 1K fun run, organised by the School PTA and Atlas Running. The two lap route comprised both road and trail sections with a start and finish line in the School Grounds. Two Striders were in attendance, with Norman Mawhinney claiming 4th place overall in a time of 17:39, and Clare McIlveen crossing the line in 26:58.

Saturday saw more sunshine for the Seskinore Forest 5K near Omagh. This popular run is hosted by Seskinore Rural Community Group and over 600 runners completed the mixed road and trail route. Among them were 2 Striders – Calum McCready and Sarah Luce, crossing the line together in 32:27.

In what was a relatively quiet week in terms of racing activity, the Club’s social media pages have been buzzing with members participating in the Captains’ and Vice Captains’ Challenges. Each week for the month of May, one of the club Captains or Vice Captains set a series of goals for members to complete that week, incorporating a training element, a strength and conditioning exercise, and a health and performance enhancer. Prizes are on offer each week, as well an overall prize draw for members who complete all 4 weeks. Week 1 started with Men’s Captain Andy Haylett challenging all members to incorporate a hill training session, complete a strength and conditioning session, and to be mindful of increasing water intake for the week. Over 100 members took on the challenge, posting proof and encouraging others in the process, getting the month of challenges off to a fantastic start.

This week was Vice Captain Michael Burgess’s turn. The theme of strength and conditioning continued with members given a new exercise to try, as did the enhancement of health and performance; this week focusing on encouraging members to get more sleep. For the running element of the challenge, Michael asked members to come for a run with him. To facilitate this, Michael completed 12 separate runs with members throughout the week, ranging from 2 miles to 8 miles, and starting as early as 5am with a run to Scrabo Tower. 100 club members completed the challenges this week and the club’s social media pages were once again awash with positivity and encouragement for one another.

Coinciding with the Captains’ Challenges was the Club’s “takeover” of Bangor parkrun on Saturday, with the majority of the 42 volunteer positions being filled by Striders, as well as a large presence of club runners participating. The attendance of 334 runners and walkers at Bangor on Saturday was the highest since parkrun resumed after pandemic restrictions. Among them were 47 Striders, with new Personal Bests recorded by Michael Johnston, Michael Burgess, Gareth Davies, Bobby McGonigal, Eva Coey, Stephen Braniff, Phoebe Coey and Lexie Brown. Faye Alexander and Hannah Robinson both achieved their 50th parkrun milestone, with Bobby McGonigal completing his 10th. Curtis McCaw claimed 3rd place overall and new Course Personal Bests were achieved by Rachel Bell, George Johnston, Chris Hollies, David Patterson and Cheryl Alexander.

Elsewhere, there was a Strider presence at 7 other parkrun venues, including Comber where Abrar Hossain completed his 50th milestone, Knockbracken where Darren Johnston achieved a PB, and Stormont and Castlewellan where Allie Farley and Matthew Halus recorded course PBs respectively.

On Sunday it was the turn of the club’s juniors, with 13 of them completing the 2km distance of junior parkrun in 2 values. Comber saw Hamish Orr-Stewart claim 2nd place and a new PB, followed by Rory Braniff (PB), Joe Brown, Joshua Bingham (Course PB), Keara Simpson as first female finisher, Olly Simpson, Maddie Dynes, Lydia Blair, Daniel Barnes and Rachel Brown. In Bangor, Willow Farrington crossed the line as 2nd Female, while Nathaniel Frazer recorded a new PB and was followed by Harriet Frazer.

Entry is currently open for the Club’s three upcoming open races – Ards Half Marathon and Walk on 30th June; Run the Trails 2K, 5K, 10K and Half Marathon at Mount Stewart on 5th August; and Ards 5 Mile on 8th September. Be sure to get signed up to avoid disappointment!

Scrabo Striders is an all abilities club which always welcomes new members. With 4 training nights every week Monday to Thursday as well as 3 weekly social runs on Friday evenings, Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings, there’s something for everyone of every ability, at every pace and distance. Why not come along and try a few training sessions before deciding to sign up? More information on becoming a member, as well as out open races is available on or by searching for Scrabo Striders Running Club on Facebook.


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