Striders Weekly Update 21/06/2023

Posted: 21/6/2023

The running weekend kicked off on Friday evening with 72 Scrabo Striders members taking on Comber 10K. The ever-popular event saw over 650 runners take to the roads around the town, completing 2 laps for a finish in the Square. The week’s scorching sunshine gave way to some light rain in time for the race which was very welcome as much of the heat and humidity remained.

First in for the club was Martin Strachan, with a new 10K Personal Best (PB) of 35:52, followed by Thomas Steele in 36:24 and Norman Mawhinney in 37:26. First lady across the line for the club was Rachel Lyttle in 46:51, followed by Jenny Taylor (48:26) and Gayle Malaugh (53:25).

A total of 17 Personal Bests were recorded by club members, which in addition to those above, included Daniel Clarke (40:32), Michael Johnston (41:26), Matthew Halus (42:01), Dean McGhee (46:52), Steven Hanna (49:04), Michael Williams (49:13), Colin Verth (50:31), Chris Burns (51:31), Heath Graham (51:49), Penny Hamilton (53:18), Chris Edwards (54:08), Cathy Dobbin (58:50), Jenna Lavery (59:38), Natasha Graham (1:06:03), Dawn Cudworth (1:20:56) and Mairead Curran (1:26:10).

The club also had 6 members recording Course Personal Bests (Andy Haylett, Michael Burgess, Jonathan Winter, George McGonigal, Louise Barnes and Karen Farrelly), as well as Martin Conroy and Hugh Lyons, both completing their first ever competitive race. Congratulations to all runners, and well done to hosts Ballydrain Harriers for putting on a fantastic event.

On Saturday, competitors assembled in Victoria Park for the start of the annual Belfast 24 Hour Events. There were 24 hour, 100 mile and 50 KM options on offer, as well as a team relay event. The weather conditions were challenging, once again being warm and humid with some rain showers.   Three members took on the challenge of running loops of the park for a full 24 hours; the most popular of the events with 63 entrants in total. Graeme Black was the Strider achieving the furthest distance, with an impressive 101.58 miles. Gary Cavill managed 83.11 miles, and Graeme McGowan 64.12 miles. Well done also to Jennifer McAteer who took part in the 50KM event but unfortunately had to pull out due to injury after 13 miles.

The Montane Summer Spine Sprint is a 46-mile ultramarathon along the Pennine Way in England. A tough technical course with total ascent in excess of 2000 metres, the race this year had 76 starters on Saturday at midday. Among them was Joanne McCandless, who went on the complete the course in 15:42:35 – a fantastic achievement!

Sunday was the Almac Belfast City Women’s 10K, with a large field of 1200 competitors completing the distance around the Titanic Quarter course. First Strider across the line was Louise Barnes in 55:10, followed by Clare McIlveen in 58:44, Karen Wilson in 1:05:13, Dawn Cudworth with another new PB following Comber on Friday night (1:19:18), and Karen Thompson in 1:20:51.

The running week wouldn’t be complete without parkruns, which this week saw 40 club runners at 14 venues. Notable achievements included first place finishes for Thomas Steele in Hillsborough and Curtis McCaw in Comber, where Daniel Barnes completed his first 5KM parkrun. Personal Bests were achieved by Michael Burgess in Dundalk, as well as Rory Braniff, Gillian Kerr and Aimee Braniff at Stormont.

On Sunday it was the turn of the Junior members at junior parkruns in Comber and Bangor. Running this week were Luke Braniff, Joe Brown, Rory Braniff, Hamish Orr-Stewart, Joshua Bingham, Adam Haylett, Keara Simpson (2nd place girl), Calum McCready, Olly Simpson, Lydia Blair and Rachel Brown in Comber. Meanwhile in Bangor, Willow Farrington (2nd place girl) and Nathaniel Frazer ran.

With just over a week to go, final preparations for Ards Half Marathon and Walk on Friday 30th June are well underway. Kicking off at 6:30 PM, last minute entries for this popular race are still available!

Next on the race calendar is Run the Trails at Mount Stewart on the evening of Saturday 5th August, offering 5KM, 10KM and Half Marathon options, as well as a 2KM Kids Fun Run. Entries are open now and early sign up is encouraged to avoid disappointment!

Scrabo Striders offer training sessions 4 nights per week for runners of all abilities to train together in a welcoming and encouraging environment. With 3 social runs each week on Friday evenings, Sunday mornings and a Sunday evening trail running session, there’s something on offer for everyone at every ability and almost any distance. Why not come along to a few sessions and see what you think? More information on Facebook and


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