Striders Weekly Update 16/08/2023

Posted: 16/8/2023

On Friday night Victoria Park & Connswater Athletics Club hosted their annual Connswater 5 Mile Challenge, starting at CS Lewis Square in east Belfast, comprising a loop circuit out along the greenway and into Victora Park. Temperatures of 19 degrees with a light breeze made for hot running conditions and thankfully the dark ominous clouds held their rain until after the event.

Scrabo Striders has fifteen athletes take part, where Thomas Steele was first Strider across the line in 29 minutes 30 seconds claiming 2nd Male 40 category place and overall 13th in the race. Norman Mawhinney was next in 32:27 taking overall 33rd in a field of 409 runners and first placed in the Male 65 category, followed by Michael Johnston in 34:02. First Scrabo lady finisher was Jenny Taylor in 36:16 followed by Mark Arnold in 39:33, Alison Busby 42:43, George McGonigal 42:58, Gayle Malaugh 43:27 and Penny Hamilton 44:26.

Next across was Rachel Boyle in 48:21, Natasha and Heath Graham in 52:08, Jenna Lavery 53:14, Emma McCracken 53:16, Carol Graham and Hugh Lyons in 53:39, Chryl Alexander 54:37 and Elaine McGonigal in 57:01. Well done all flying the purple flag at this popular race.

As one of the largest running clubs in Northern Ireland, Scrabo Striders appoint captains and vice-captains for a two-year term to foster team spirit and host events. One such event, the Vice-Captains Challenge was hosted Lyndsey Blair and Michael Burgess, our current VCs at Delamont Country Park, Killyleagh on Saturday morning. Things got underway with a 2km kids race where Keara Simpson won the race followed by Faye Alexander and Lauren Semple in third. In the boys’ competition Olly Simpson won, second place was Heath Farrington and third Calum McCready.

The twist this year was that the fastest runners had their start delayed by an amount of time based on recent performance. The adult race was a 4-mile distance and anyone who has visited Delamont knows its hilly to say the least. Not deterred by the challenging route Aimee Braniff took first female followed by Catherine Cauley second and Dawn Cudworth third. In the gents’ race Steven Hanna took top position followed by Colin Verth and in third Curtis Adams. A big well done to all our winners. With some 60 club members taking part and a dozen volunteers, it really doers show the benefits of belonging to a club like Scrabo Striders. Even the predicted rain gave way to warm sunshine!

At Silent Valley on Saturday the annual Dambusters took place, hosted by Born2Run Events. Representing Scrabo Striders Graeme McGowan completed the 10-mile course in an impressive 1 hour 14 minutes and four seconds, while in the 10km Chris Edwards recorded 52.43 and Karen Wilson 01:07:44. Three Striders took part in the Feile 10K in Belfast with Norman Mawhinney finishing in 38.30, Peter Stevens 45.33 and Clare McIlveen in 57.23. Well done all.

At the Saturday Parkruns Scrabo Striders had 22 participants running at 14 different venues, far and wide. Curtis McCaw took 1st place at Comber in 18:24 followed by Cathie Lowry with a 29:52 personal best (PB), then James McIlveen 33:18. Across the province at Enniskillen George Johnston finished the 5km in 23:37 and daughter Sarah Johnston took 1st female place in a personal best time of 24:49. Matthew Halus took 3rd place overall in a new course personal best time of 21:38 at Crawfordsburn, followed by Dad Mark 28:54, while Joshua Bingham set a new PB of 25:56 on his first visit to Castlewellan.

At Antrim Parkrun Olli Seeger set a new course PB of 25:22, Peter Crawford ran Stormont for the first in a fantastic time of 23:10 while Richard Bovill was a first timer at Newtownabbey, finishing in 26:32. Travelling further afield Darren and Elaine Johnston completed Cootehill in 26:20 and 34:34 respectively, Ashley Gilliland finished Gorey in 31:35, Abrar Hossain 23:21 and Kathy Henderson 38:40 at Rostrevor and Martina Finn completing Clover Point in 28:58.

The Sunday morning junior parkruns cover a distance of 2km and remain as popular as ever. Hamish Orr-Stewart grabbed a new PB of 08:19 at Moors Valley while Harry McCready took 3rd place in Ormeau with a new PB of 08:06 followed by brother Calum in 11:27 and Nathaniel Frazer in 12:21. Comber was the busiest for Striders where Luke Braniff took 3rd place in 07:54 followed by Joe Brown 09:09, Rory Braniff 09:16, Noah and Daniel Barnes in 12:08 and 13:20 respectively, then came Lydia Blair 13:29 and Rachel Brown in 13:48. Well done to all the Scrabo Strider Juniors!

Looking ahead to September, the next big events for the Club are Last Strider Standing (LSS) and the Ards 5 Mile Road Race. LSS involves a 4.2-mile loop of Castle Ward estate on the hour every hour until there is only one runner left, he or she being the Last Strider Standing! Last year this involved 17 loops and finished at 2am and yes, it is as brutal as it sounds! The Ards 5 Mile has been staged for over 30 years, started by Lions Club International as a local charity event with typically 300 competitors taking on a route out Portaferry road to Finlays road, Loughries, Bowtown and then back to Londonderry Park. Still time to sign up!

Scrabo Striders Running Club trains four times through the week mostly at Londonderry Park, for all ability levels. The Club’s Progression sessions are particularly popular and are aimed at those just completing couch to 5k, returning to running and those seeking to increase their distance. Find out more at . #purplepower


Back to News