Striders Weekly Update 24/05/2023

Posted: 24/5/2023

50th Parkrun Celebrations for Striders Captain

Saturday saw another fabulous turnout at Parkrun with 32 participants making their way to Victoria Parkrun to help Captain Andy Haylett mark his 50th Parkrun in true strider style.    First to cross the finish line and taking 3rd place overall with a PB was Martin Strachan (17.23).  Personal Bests were also racked up by Bobby McGonigal (24.11), Karen Wilson (29.45), Calum McCready (30.37) and Naomi Flemming (34.15) with Course Personal Bests for Jonathan Winter (21.29), Michael Williams (25.16) and Stephen Braniff (31.23).  A huge shout out to Miss Lydia Blair on completing her first parkrun in a superb 34.25, a superstar in the making.

Elsewhere Curtis McCaw finished 2nd overall (18.41) at Comber with Matthew Halus achieving a Course Personal Best (19.20), Castlewellan saw Course Personal Bests for Faye Alexander (31.40) and Cheryl Alexander (32.19) and for Fiona McAvoy (27.04) at Hillsborough Forest Parkrun.  Stormont Parkrun proving to be a good venue choice for Steven Hanna (23.22) achieving a Personal Best there whilst over at Bangor Willow Farrington (22.09) finished 2nd female with a Personal Best.

Trying out new venuse this week were Bobby McGonigal, Adam Haylett, Daren Johnston, David Patterson, Karen Farrelly, Colin Verth, Chris Edwards, Sarah Luce, Calum McCready, Naomi Flemming, Gillian Pearson, Lyndsey Blair, Dawn Cudworth and Mariead Curran  all at Victoria Park with Allie Farley and Liam Rodger at Limepark Plaing Fields, Noah Barnes at Comber and slightly further afield Martina Finn at Hackney Marshes and Jonathan Wray at Guernsey.

Travelling to Castleblayney for the first time was Abrar Hossain and Kathy Henderson as part of their 7Cs challenge.  The idea presented itself to Kathy through the Parkrun app and she decided it would be a good idea to challenge herself, family and friend to complete.   Running 2 Parkruns then volunteering at one it has taken the Henderson’s and Abrar approximately 6 months to get this far and have only one more Parkrun to run before the challenge is complete.  That one Parkrun being Argh (a Parkrun starting with the letter R).  Castleblayney being Kathy’s favourite of the 7 as it was a lovely run through trails and trees where the downhills were steeper than the uphills.  The most difficult run on the 7Cs list was Crawfordsburn, however it hasn’t put her off and she can’t wait to return and run it again.

Jersey Parkrun was the venue of choice for Cheryl Macartney and Michael Burgess, not only were the pair first timers at this Parkrun but it was also the Parkrun that saw Michael complete the Parkrun alphabet challenge.  Michael completed the Northern Ireland Regionnaire challenge back in July 2022 when he ran 35 out of 35 parkruns in Northern Ireland and since then has gone on to complete a Parkrun for every letter of the alphabet (with the exception of X) which has seen him travel as far afield as Zuiderpark in Netherlands to complete Z!  Michael described his most difficult run at Narin Beach N as it was wet and windy and all on sand, this caused him to cross the finishline nearly 10minutes slower than this best 5k time.  When asked about his favourite Parkruns Michael listed Omagh in 2018, Holy Cross College Strabane in 2021 and Tolka Valley, Dublin in 2022 all of which seen him achieve Personal Bests.

With no races close to home, Norman Mawhinney travelled to Phoenix Park in Dublin for the first of his weekend runs.  Following a month of clenching numerous Championship Titles which includes M65 10k Irish Championship, M65 British Marathon Championship in London and M65 NI and Ulster Marathon Championships in Belfast Norman also took the title of M65 5k Irish Championship at The Irish Runner in a time of 18.04.  He followed this up on Sunday morning with a first place at M60 in the Fastlane Half Marathon in a time of 1:26.40.

Situated in a sheltered valley in the foothills of the Sperrin mountains  in County Tyrone is Baronscourt Estate, which was the venue of  The Small But Mighty Fuel, Baronscourt Endurance Challenge and 5/10k Trail Races.  The weekend saw 4 Striders travel the 92 miles to take part in the 6 and 24 hour events.  Each loop of the endurance event was 5.3km, with the aim to complete as many loops as possible within your chosen time.  Taking to the startline for an 8pm start on Saturday was duo Judith Boyd and Sonya Summersgill who, despite the torrential rain throughout the night powered on to complete 100.7k (19 loops) and claim the Female 24hour title.  Sunday afternoon saw the start of the 6 hour challenge in which Luke Mars and Hannah Magee both achieved distance personal bests of 31.8k (6 loops) and 26.5k (5 loops) retrospectively.

Not to be outdone by the adults 9 of our Junior Striders attended 3 different Parkruns with Joe Brown (8.50), Keara Simpson (9.56) first female, Olly Simpson (11.20), Lydia Blair (13.20) and Rachel Brown (13.36) all taking on Comber.  At Bangor Luke Braniff (8.02) finished in 2nd place overall with Rory Braniff (9.20) achieving a Personal Best and Phoebe Coey (11.26).  Another brilliant run this week from Willow Farrington (7.53)on her first outing at Moira that saw her take 2nd place overall and achieving a Personal Best.

Scrabo Striders are infamous within the running community for their all inclusive attitude towards running and this is always more than evident at racing events, especially their own.   Ards Half Marathon on Friday 30th June, Mount Stewart Run the Trails on Saturday 5th August (Early bird until end of May) and Ards 5 mile challenge on Friday 8th September are all in the racing calendar over the upcoming months and sign up is open for all 3 via

Scrabo Striders meet at Londonderry Park on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7.15pm with social runs on Friday evening and Sunday morning.  A running club with something for all so why not come down and see what we are all about.  You can be sure of a warm welcome!


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