Striders Weekly Update 13/09/2023

Posted: 13/9/2023

Striders soar in scorching temperatures!

One of the hottest events took place on Friday night with the Scrabo Striders Club 5 mile race! The race started at Londonderry Park, before going out along the Portaferry Road, up the infamous hills of Finlay’s Road and down the Bowtown Road before finishing back in Londonderry Park. Arriving in first for the striders was Martin Strachan with a time of 30:01 followed by Norman Mawhinney 31:34, Colin Harper 33:01 , Heather Baron with a  time of 32:23 and Catherine Cauley with a time of 35:36. Brilliant running everyone on what was a scorcher of an evening! Special shout out to the following first timers Karen Warnock, Lynn McGonigal and Mairead Curran  and well done to the following runners on achieving new 5 Mile Personal Bests – Colin Harper with 33:01, Heath Graham with 41:58, Karen Farrelly with  46:23 and Sharon Gamble with a time of 1:16:32.  We also had a number of Course Personal Bests , Colin Verth with 43:11, Natasha Graham with 53:31, and Jenny Taylor with a time of 36:25.

On Saturday Norman Mawhinney took on the Ratoath Half Marathon, organised by Ratoath Athletics Club, in County Meath. The race started at the Fairyhouse Racecourse and showcased a Fast and Flat course for runners taking on the flat roads of Meath with a finish at the iconic Fairyhouse grandstand. Well done to Norman for completing the race in 1:23:54.

On Saturday, we also had Harry and Callum take on the Junior Great North Run in North East England. This year was the biggest year yet with 10,000 taking part in the race. Harry finished the race in 18:35 and Calum in 27:44, fantastic! Jennifer McAteer took part in the Great North 5k race and finished with a time of 39:05. This route again went around the Quayside taking in the stunning local scenery.

Sunday meant the iconic Great North Run – Half Marathon, and it is the largest half marathon in the world with participants running between Newcastle and South Shields.  The run was devised by former Olympic bronze medallist Brendan Foster. Finishing first for the Striders was Peter McGonigal with a time of 1:49:03, followed by George Johnston with a time of 2:02:37, Colin Campbell with 2:17:04, Ken Rodgers with 2:23:38 , Martin Conroy with 2:27:30 and Sarah Luce with a time of 2:35:55. Finishing just past the 3 hour mark was Jennifer McAteer with a time of 3:03:15 and Alison Rodgers completed the race with a time of 3:40:04. Well done all on completing an iconic race!

Saturday also meant Park Run and we had 38 participants out running at 8 venues. The most popular venue was Comber with 13 club members running.  Matthew Halus finished in 2nd place at Comber with a time of 19:11! We also had 7 runners trying out new venues for the first time! At Druridge Bay Park Run Elaine and Peter McGonigal finished with times of 34:51 ad 31:52.  Over at Jesmond Dean Colin Campbell finished in a time of 29:54.  Elaine Johnston also completed Dunleath Playing fields in a time of 35:40. At Crawfordburn Curtis Adams and Catherine Lavery completed the course in 24:32 and 30:46. At Castlewellan Park Run we had Chris Edwards obtain a Personal Best with a  time of 26:36, and Willow Farrington finished as 3rd Female with a Course Personal Best of 22:41.  Karen Wilson also got a Course Personal Best with a time of 31:08, fabulous running!  Over at Bramshall Road Park Run, Gavin McDonnell took the course on for the first time and completed it in a time  of 37:13.

Sunday also meant Junior Park Run, and we had 18 participants at the ever popular Comber Park Run.  We had 3 runners who achieved Personal Bests being Jack Robinson with 10:04, Daniel Barnes with a time of 10:10 and Phoebe Coey with a time of 10:37. We also had two Course Personal Bests with Luke Braniff finishing first with a time of 7:52 and Willow Farrington who finished in 2nd place with a Course Personal Best of 8:06.  Special shout out to Rory Braniff who got his 100th Park Run with a time of 9:04.  Fantastic running!

On Sunday our striders also travelled to Portaferry to take part in the 10k race as part of Abi’s Butterfly Breeze fun day. The money raised through this Charity race was to be donated to Inspire’s counselling service which helps young people who are struggling with their mental wellbeing. Our striders, both adults and juniors have also been running the distance of 103 miles (both individually and combined) which is the distance between both butterfly farms, North and South of Ireland – as a way of remembrance. First in for the Striders was Norman Mawhinney with a time of 39:13, followed by Andy Haylett with 39:28, Paul Blair with 47:49, Jenny Taylor with 48:16,  Chris Burns with 49:07, Steven Hanna with 50:19, Amanda Martin with 51:50, Chris Edwards with 52:56,  George McGonigal with  56:41, Fiona McAvoy with 56:59, Martina Finn with 58:47, Dee Patterson with 59:24, Rachel Bell with 59:24, Natasha Graham with 1:07:12, Carol Graham and Heath Graham with 1:11:11,  Louise Booth with a time of 1:11:29 and Judith Boyd & Sonya Summergill both with a time of 1:20:00.

Scrabo Striders meet every Monday – Thursday for coach led training sessions with a Trails run on Sunday evening. We also meet every Friday evening and Sunday morning for an all-abilities social run starting from the square.


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