Striders Weekly Update 07/06/2023

Posted: 7/6/2023

In a week where the temperatures in Northern Ireland were steadily climbing, our striders faced the heat and were out running!

First up was the Norn Iron Ultra 100 challenge, which is run by We Run Wild NI, who specialise in organising one of a kind running events such as Ultra Runs, trail runs, marathons and multi day fixtures.  The Norn Iron Ultra is one of these events consisting of a 106-mile Ultra Run starting from Ballintoy, running along the well-known Antrim Coast and finishing in Gortin, Omagh. This challenging run involves a mix of terrain including bogland, trails, forest, beach and of course road running. There were manned checkpoints along the way, but with no additional signage or marshals, runners need to become navigators also, using these skills to get along the route.  Well done to our coach Liam Rodger who took on the challenge and completed 46 miles over a long hot and sweaty 13 hours on his feet!

Jennifer McAteer was next up, taking on the challenge of the Norn Iron Half Marathon. This route started in Ballintoy taking in the sights of the coast before finishing in the scenic Portballintrae. Well done to Jennifer on both navigating this and finishing this with a time of 4:18:16 and what a fab piece of bling to display!

Sunday also saw our striders go international! Norman Mawhinney, Heath Graham and Peter McGonigal travelled to Cork to take on the Cork City Marathon on Sunday! The Cork City marathon is described as a generally flat course and is the flattest City Marathon in Ireland, with the exception of two generally challenging hills at 18 and 21 miles, but as we know Striders love hills! Well done to Norman Mawhinney who finished this race with a time of 2:57:41. Following him was Heath Graham and Peter McGonigal who both finished with a time of 5:22:20.  Fantastic running and well done to all!

We also had Park Run on Saturday and there was a total number of 64 people out running at 11 venues! Stormont was the most popular park run as 37 striders arrived there to celebrate several well-deserved milestones and achievements!  Jonathan Winter was celebrating his 100th Park Run and George McGonigal, Dee Patterson, Sarah Luce and Dawn Cudworth were all celebrating 25th Park Run Milestones.  We also had a number of achievements to mention, Martin Strachan came in 1st place finish with a time of 18:00 , a course PB!  Course Personal Bests were also achieved by Chris Hollies 26:13, Gillian Pearson 31:03 and Dawn Cudworth 37:26. We also had some Personal Bests with Chris Burns coming in with 25:33 and Kris Williams following with a time 25:51. Brilliant running everyone!

Over at Knockbracken Parkrun we had 8 runners participating, followed by Comber where we had 6 runners taking part with our previous milestone achiever Curtis McCaw finishing in 2nd place with a time of 18:26!  And in Bangor we had Thomas Steele as our lone strider, with a Course Personal Best of 19:28. Congratulations also to our Vice Captain Michael Burgess who got 3rd place in Buncrana Parkrun , a beautiful park run to visit!

On Sunday a number of our striders took part in the Womens Aid ‘Nowhere to run to’ 5k Run or Walk at Ward Park , Bangor. The run was organised to help raise funds for anyone who is affected by domestic abuse, with all funding going towards North Down & Ards Women’s Aid and Mens Advisory project.  Well done to our striders for participating and donating to a well worthy cause.

Junior Park Run also took place on Sunday, with 8 runners at 3 venues! Comber was, as always, our most popular location with 5 members running! Delighted to say that Maddie Dynes got a PB with a time of 12:12 and was 2nd Female finisher, brilliant running! Olly Simpson also achieved a Course Personal Best at Jordanstown Junior Parkrun with a time of 12:12, well done Olly!

Scrabo Striders meet every Monday – Thursday for coach led training sessions with a Trails run on Sunday evening. We also meet every Friday evening and Sunday morning for an all-abilities social run in Newtownards Town Centre (at the square) and finish with a coffee after.   Training is in full swing for our ever popular Ards Half Marathon on the 30th June 2023 , which is an undulating to hilly run on both roads and footpaths . The race starts and finishes at Ards Leisure Centre taking in the sights of Ards, Scrabo and Comber en route.

A little further into the future we also have ours Ards 5 mile challenge. This ever-popular event is due to take place 8th September 2023 and runs out along the Portaferry Road before turning off and hitting those countryside hills!   Both events are available for sign up and our strider hospitality is second to none!

By Naomi Fleming.


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