Striders Weekly Update 02/08/2023

Posted: 2/8/2023

Despite the wind and rain, over 50 Striders completed Donaghadee 5k on Wednesday night, with many also coming out to show their support.  “Run the Dee” was organised by Dee Runners, sponsored by Rea Estates, with proceeds going to Cancer Fund for Children.  The 2 lap route included the Pier and Lighthouse, as well as the full length of The Commons park.  The results were outstanding, with Personal Bests, Course PBs, 4 in the top 20, 2 age category winners and another 19 finishing in the top 5 in their age category!

Curtis McCaw (18:31) took 5th place and 4th Senior Male, with Norman Mawhinney (18:47) 7th and 1st M65.  Also in the top 20 were Andy Haylett (19:32, 13th and 3rd M40) and Daniel Clarke (20:02, 19th and 5th SM).

Under 25 minutes were Matt Bell (20:10), Michael Burgess (21:31, CPB and 5th M35), Luke Braniff (21:42, CPB, 3rd U15B), Jenny Taylor (21:58, PB, 2nd W50 and 6th female), Graeme McGowan (21:58), Dean McGhee (22:27), Peter Crawford (23:14), Kris Williams (23:34, PB, 3rd U17M), Mark Arnold (23:37, 5th M55), Colin Verth (23:57), Curtis Adams (24:05 PB), Bobby McGonigal (24:36, 4th U15B), Ollie Seegar (24:38), George McGonigal (24:58).

25 to 30 minute times were recorded by John Brown (25:00, 2nd M60), Amanda Martin (25:17, 2nd W55), Christopher Murdock (25:26), Katie Lyttle (25:39, PB), Dee Patterson (25:41), Kurtis Hunter (25:54), Louise Barnes (26:17, 3rd W35), Gayle Malaugh (26:23, 2nd W45), Eva Coey (26:36, 2nd U15G), Hector Adair (27:05, 5th M60), Catherine Lavery (27:43, 2nd W60), Heath Graham (29:06), Jenna Lavery (29:07, CPB), Beverley McKee (29:17) and Michele Ennis (29:49, 3rd W60).

Next to cross the finish line were Lorraine Adams (30:41), Emma McCracken (31:07), Wendy Thompson (31:52), Natasha Graham (31:55, CPB), Hugh Lyons (32:14), Stephen Braniff (32:41, CPB), Carol Graham (32:53), Ian Frazer (32:51), Helen Potts (33:30, 5th W60), Kim Cochrane (34:13), Karen Thompson (34:27), Lexie Brown (35:25, 3rd U15G), Donna Dugan (36:11), Aimee Braniff (36:30, 1st U17W), Gillian Kerr (36:32), Jilly Coey (36:49), Maddie Dynes (37:14), Cheryl Macartney (37:50), Dawn Cudworth (41:22) and Mariead Curran (41:36).

The MB McGrady & Co County Down 5k took place on a fast and flat 7.5 lap course around Downpatrick town centre on Friday evening.  In Race 1, Jenny Taylor (22:00, 7th) and Willow Farrington’s (22:05, 8th, PB) fantastic top ten finish times also put them on the podium as 2nd and 3rd placed females.  Great results were also recorded by Chris Edwards (24:16 PB), George McGonigal (24:24), Sarah Luce (28:15) and Karen Wilson (28:50 PB).  In Race 2, Norman Mawhinney led the M65s again (18:25), while young Luke Braniff shone with his 2nd sub 22 minute 5k race of the week (21:29).

Also on Friday evening, Graeme Farrington took on the forest trails and towpath of Lagan Valley Regional Park, running through the Neolithic monument at Giant’s Ring in the 7th annual Dub Runner’s Giant’s Trail Race.  Graeme completed the 6 mile course in a brilliant time of 55:22.

No stranger to a marathon, Colin Campbell completed his 75th 26.2 mile event, the Run Armagh July Marathon on Saturday.  Colin ran just short of 9 laps of the approximately 3 mile route in 5:06:16, passing Armagh Observatory and Planetarium on College Hill, heading out Millinure Lane before turning back towards the City on Loughgall Road.

Hillsborough Castle & Gardens Running Festival offered a variety of races on Sunday.  The courses started and finished at the castle and took in the gardens as well as Hillsborough Forest and lake.  The 10k and half marathon included an out and back along the Ballynahinch Road.  In the Under 16 5k, Luke Braniff (22:36) came 9th in his 3rd 5k race of the week!  Eva Coey (25:09) and Lauren Semple (27:09) also performed brilliantly, both in the top 30 and 4th and 8th females respectively.  Michael Warke (49:42), Clare McIlveen (1:01:31) and Karen Thompson (1:15:20) took on the 10k, while Chris Burns (1:54:04 PB), Steven Hanna (2:02:04) and Penny Hamilton (2:06:16) tackled the half marathon.

55 club members headed to 13 different parkrun venues on Saturday, with Daniel Barnes (26:08 Comber), Rory Braniff (29:09 Stormont), Phoebe Coey (30:53 Stormont) and Michael Burgess (21:09 Griffeen) all achieving PBs.  Course PBs were ran by Jilly Coey (37:02 Stormont), Faye (33:33) and Cheryl (33:40) Alexander in Portrush, and Rachel Lyttle (23:49 Mole Valley).  Curtis McCaw and Norman Mawhinney finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in Comber.  Matt Bell headed to London for Bushy parkrun’s 941st event, running alongside 1355 other runners!  Bushy is the location of the first ever parkrun, started by Paul Sinton-Hewitt in 2004.  It was originally called Bushy Park Time Trial before the name parkrun was adopted in 2008.  There are currently over 60 volunteer roles to be filled each week!

Hamish Orr-Stewart completed his 21st junior parkun at Moors Valley on Sunday, earning his Marathon wristband.  He set a course PB of 8:26.  Receiving his Half Marathon wristband for 11 events was Harry McCready, also coming 1st in Comber!  Joshua Bingham (8:53) and Callum McCready (10:56) celebrated PBs in Comber, while Keara Simpson and Willow Farrington were both 1st females across the lines in Comber and Bangor.

June’s Members of the Month Awards, sponsored by Boyd Rice Solicitors, were presented to Rachel Bell and Colin Verth.  Female Captain Judith Boyd described Rachel as a friendly face, always encouraging and supporting her fellow Striders.  Rachel has had an incredible year, achieving PBs in Marathon, Half Marathon, 5k and 3k.  She also won 2nd Female at Round the Springs 5k in Greyabbey!

Colin was chosen by Male Captain Andy Haylett for being conscientious, dedicated, hardworking and encouraging.  He recorded A PB time at Comber 10k before going on to run his first Half Marathon (Ards) in a sub 2 hour time, having only ran the distance for the first time a few weeks before!

Search for Scrabo Striders on Facebook or visit  if you would like to find out more about this friendly and welcoming running club!

Michael Burgess


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