Striders Weekly Update 28/06/2023

Posted: 28/6/2023

A group of Scrabo Striders headed to Lisburn on Wednesday evening for the Vitality Half Marathon and 10k Road Race, starting and finishing at Lagan Valley Leisure Plex.

The Half Marathon began first, with the route heading out the Moira Road before turning left and heading past Mazetown, Down Royal Racecourse and Culcavy, joining the final sections of the 10k route at Blaris Road.  Gareth Davies led the Striders with 1:52:21, followed by Michael Warke in 1:56:14 and Penny Hamilton in 2:01:43.

The 10k followed the same route out the Moira Road, but turned left slightly earlier to head down Halftown Road, then along Blaris Road and Hillsborough Road.  18th overall out of 1068 runners and 3rd in the M40 category was Martin Strachan with 36:16.  Norman Mawhinney took 28th place and 1st M65 in 37:43.  Also making the top 100 were Michael Johnston (74th, course PB 41:22) and Daniel Clarke (78th 41:32).  The rest of the Strider line up consisted of Michael Burgess (45:08), Jenny Taylor 46:07, Michael Williams (50:20), Amanda Martin (51:46), Gayle Malaugh (54:12), Dee Patterson (54:13), Clare McIlveen (56:55) and Ashlyn Allen (1:08:51).  Amanda Martin’s finish time secured her a 2nd place spot in the F55 category.

We Run Wild NI organised The Lighthouse Run on Sunday, with Half Marathon, Marathon and Ultra Marathon distance options.  Taking on the 41 mile (66k) Ultra route were Graeme Black and Coach Abrar Hossain, completing Whitehead Lighthouse to Donaghadee Lighthouse along the coastal paths and trails in 6:45:55 (Graeme) and 9:38:17 (Abrar).

As always, there was a good Strider presence at Parkruns across the country, with 50 running at 14 different events on Saturday morning.  Celebrating milestones were Richard Bovill (25th parkrun) at Stormont and Eva Alexander (50th) at Knockbracken Reservoir.  Thomas Steele took 2nd place at Comber, while Darren Johnston enjoyed a course PB (26:09).  The fast Belfast Victoria course saw PB performances from Willow Farrington (22:06), Sarah Luce (27:45) and Rory Braniff (31:06), as well as a course PB by Graeme Farrington (31:38).  In Bangor, Dean McGhee recorded a PB of 22:10 while Dee Patterson set a course PB (25:54).

With almost 2000 Parkruns across 22 countries (over 750 in the UK), “Parkrun tourism” is popular among Striders.  Many will find a local run whilst on holiday or competing in a further away race.  Some will even travel to a specific event to work towards a tourism related challenge or attempt to beat a record!  Norman Mawhinney and Matthew Halus ran course PBs in Rostrevor (20:14) and Portrush (20:37) respectively, while Steven Hanna completed Enniskillen for the first time.  Luke Mars and Hannah Magee were at Brickfields in Dublin, while Michael Burgess ran at his 50th different Parkrun location, Monaghan Town.

Comber was the venue of choice for Junior Parkrun on Sunday.  After her Parkrun PB on Saturday, Willow Farrington’s 2nd place finish was also a course PB of 8:15.  Hamish Orr-Stewart was 2nd male and Keara Simpson 3rd female, while Rory Braniff was 3rd male after his PB on Saturday.  Nathaniel Frazer recorded a course PB of 12:31.  Also running were Harry McCready, Adam Haylett, Olly Simpson, Maddie Dynes and Lydia Blair.

Male Strider of the Month for May was Michael Williams.  Despite having only joined at the start of the year, Michael has already made a hugely positive contribution to the club.  His friendliness, passion and enthusiasm shine brightly during his regular attendances at training, social runs and races.  He celebrated a 10k PB of 51:15 at Run the Runways, narrowly missing out on beating this record with 51:16 at Newry.  In Parkrun, Michael recently set a PB of 24:11.  He has been encouraging his family also, with his partner currently doing Couch to 5k and his son Kris graduating from the club’s last Progression programme.

Female Strider of the Month was awarded to Cathy Dobbin.  Cathy is a committed, hard-working and cheerful runner who shows lots of support and encouragement to other Striders at training, socials and races.  She ran her first marathon in Belfast this year in 5:14:54, an outstanding achievement after months of training.  Less than a week later, Cathy set a 5k PB of 28:23 at Run the Runways, and has also gone on to achieve a 10k PB of 58:50 at Comber!  The club wishes her the very best for the upcoming Ards Half Marathon.

Members of the Month are chosen by Captains Andy Haylett and Judith Boyd, and sponsored by Boyd Rice Solicitors.

Facebook and  are the places to visit to find out more about Scrabo Striders.  Training sessions to suit all levels are available Monday to Thursday evenings, with social runs (Friday and Sunday), Parkruns, Sunday evening trails and many races to choose from throughout the year.  No matter what you choose to attend, you will always find a fantastic, friendly and fun atmosphere!

Michael Burgess


Back to News