Striders Weekly Update 30/08/2023

Posted: 30/8/2023

The Bank Holiday running weekend kicked off on Friday evening with the Strangford Festival 5 and 10KM races. The undulating, mixed-terrain course started and finished in the town, with the 5K being an out and back route encompassing some of the trails of the Castle Ward Estate, and the 10K adding a longer looped section extending up to Audleystown Wood. In the 5KM event, first Strider across the line was Junior Member Bobby McGonigal in a time of 23:09, followed by Darren Johnston in 23:46, Junior Daniel Barnes in 27:40, Louise Barnes in 27:48, Elaine Johnston (31:05), Karen Thompson (34:06), Dawn Cudworth (36:52) and Lynn McGonigal in 38:15.

Taking on the 10K option were 4 Striders, led across the line by Thomas Steele in 6th place overall and 1st M40 in a time of 37:16. Next across the line for the club was Chris Edwards (54:52), followed by George McGonigal in 57:53 and Karen Wilson in 1:03:37.

Saturday saw 12 club members travel to Larne for the ever-popular Antrim Coast Half Marathon. With the Elite event attracting increasing international attention as a record-breaking course, the mass event follows the same out and back route along the scenic Coast Road. First Strider across the line was Martin Strachan in a very impressive 1:20:41, followed by Norman Mawhinney claiming 1st M65 in 1:23:08. Colin Harper was next across the line, beating the 1:30 barrier by 17 seconds in 1:29:43, followed by Michael Johnston (1:37:37), Sian McBroom (1:58:25), Martin Conroy (2:16:00), Dee Patterson (2:16:03) Karen Warnock (2:26:20), Natasha Graham (2:26:50). Heath Graham (2:26:52), Louise Booth (2:35:21) and Janice McCartney (2:38:17).

Opting for something a little different, four Striders travelled to Rathlin Island for the (in)famously hilly Rathlin Run 10 mile race. The already challenging course was made more difficult for runners by the presence of strong winds. Jenny Taylor was first home in 1:22:38, followed by Amanda Martin in 1:33:05, Alison Busby in 1:34:26 and Jennifer McAteer in 2:28:20.

Also opting for something a little different at the weekend was Matt Bell, taking on his first Triathlon in Donaghadee with the Peninsula Sea Sprint Triathlon. Matt completed the swim in 22:06, the cycle in 40:56 and the 5K run in 19:12.

Continuing to add to a long list of achievements this year was Norman Mawhinney, who on Sunday travelled to Offaly for the Tullamore Harriers Half Marathon, incorporating the National Half Marathon Championships. True to recent form, Norman crossed the line in 1:23:43 to take the M65 Irish Marathon Champion title, just a day after running Antrim Coast Half.

Parkruns this week saw 62 club members running in 13 venues. Personal Bests were recorded by Thomas Forsythe at Town Moor, and Penny Hamilton and John Bingham at Stormont, where Siobhan Kane achieved a Course Personal Best. Other CPBs were had by Richard Bovill at Limepark Playing Fields, Allie Farley in Antrim, Eva Coey taking 3rd place Female at Crawfordsburn, and Willow Farrington at Castlewellan. Colin Glen has Matt Bell and Abrar Hossain (CPB) taking 2nd and 3rd place overall, Michael Burgess with a CPB and Rachel Bell 2nd Female.

On Sunday the club’s Junior runners were out at 4 different junior parkrun venues. Most popular was Comber where Harry McCready and Hamish Orr-Stewart claimed 1st and 2nd place overall, followed by Adam Haylett, Keara Simpson (1st F), Calum McCready, Daniel Barnes (PB), Olly Simpson (PB) and Lydia Blair. Luke Braniff ran Ormeau for the first time, achieving overall 3rd place and a PB, followed by Willow Farrington (2nd F, CPB) and Rory Braniff. Joshua Bingham had a Course PB at Victoria Park while Nathaniel Frazer completed Bangor.

Online entries close this week for the Ards 5 Mile Challenge, taking place on Friday 8th September at 7pm. This popular event hosted by Scrabo Striders sets off from Londonderry Park and travels down the Portaferry Road before cutting inland at Finlay’s Road and returning back to the Park via Bowtown Road. Get signed up soon to avoid disappointment!

Scrabo Striders is an all-abilities club providing training sessions 4 nights per week with a friendly and encouraging atmosphere. With three social runs per week also on offer, as well as members-only events, why not come along and try out a few training sessions before committing to joining? More details at or the Scrabo Striders Running Club Facebook page.

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