Striders Weekly Update 28/09/2023

Posted: 28/9/2023

This week saw Strider Graeme Black make the nearly 4,000 mile trip to Tennessee, USA for his 3rd Barkley Fall Classic.  The 50k race is organised by Lazarus Lake, who describes it as having ridiculous amounts of climb and descent with a reward of numerous scenic vistas.    The course is designed to challenge the runner mentally as well as physically and GPS is not allowed.  The course map is not revealed until the night before the race.  The rules of the event state that you have to reach a decision point by 11hours and 20 minutes:  Do you go for the 50k or settle for marathon distance?  At 10hours 29 minutes into the race, with the rain pelting around him Graeme had climbed around 15,000 feet, had travelled 30miles and was in 3rd place in the marathon.  With his no guts no glory attitude Graeme decided he would go for it!  With ripped shorts, bleeding arms and legs, multiple stings and something lodged in his eye he started his climb of Rat Jaw.  After climbing on hands and knees in the mud for an hour and covering a third of the mountain face Graeme decided it was time to call it day.  As Graeme took the decision to try for the 50k he lost his 3rd place in the marathon and was declared as a DNF on the day.  However with his grit and determination he is a winner in our books and a true inspiration to others!

Another Strider travelling out of the country this weekend was Carli Lindgreen who travelled to Berlin to take on the BMW Berlin Marathon in the European City.  A platinum labelled marathon with almost 48,000 runners from 156 countries taking to the startline with famous names such as Eluid Kipchoge and Tigst Assefa who where this years winners.  This may have been  the 4th race in the 6 World Marathon Majors events scheduled for 2023, however it was Carli’s first marathon and she had a fantastic performance, completing the course in 5:26:44 with her support crew of husband and youngest son cheering her from the sidelines.

Travelling a shorter distance early on Saturday morning, Four Striders travelled over the border to take part in the Irish Life Dublin Half Marathon.  The starting line is housed in Phoenix Park along side the Zoological Gardens, Victorian Flower Gardens and Biodiversity Information Centre.  Phoenix Park is one of the largest enclosed public parks in any capital city in Europe and was bustling with over 6,000 participants for the 4th race in the Irish Life Race Series.  The Series started back in June with the Corkagh Park 5 mile, followed by Fingal 10k and Frank Duffy 10mile.  First Strider home and running himself a PB was Thomas Steele in 1:17:41 followed by Norman Mawhinney (1st M65), who is taking on the series, in 1:22:32, Heather Baron (5th F45) in 1:38:12 and Jonathan Winter in 1:38:44

A little closer to home at Victoria Park on Saturday afternoon Scrabo Striders had an amazing 7 teams entered into the Victoria Park Road Relay Championships.  Teams were made up of 4 members each running 2 laps of the park which equated to 2 miles.  First up where our 2 teams of Master Ladies that saw  Lyndsey Blair (16.36), Louise Barnes (17.05), Sarah Luce McCready (17.32) and Louise Booth (21.41) making up Team A and Karen Thompson (23.03), Dawn Cudworth (22.51), Jennifer McAteer (21.23) and Cheryl McCartney (25.06) making up Team B.  Next to take on the flat and fast course were the Masters Men with Dee Patterson (15.23), Colin Verth (15.12), Hector Adair (16.48) and George McGonigal (15.56) in Team A and Darren Johnston (15.17), Chris Russel (15.28), Michael Williams (14.33) and Chris Hollies (16.45) in Team B.  Continuing to fly the purple flag were Senior Ladies Emma Stewart (16.00), Cathy Lowry (18.22), Judith Boyd (16.08) and Rachel Bell (14.44).  In the final race of the day our Senior Men Matt Bell (12.17), Colin Harper (12.28), Andy Haylett (12.16) and Martin Strachan (11.29) made up Team A with Curtis Adams (14.18), Michael Burgess (13.35), Graeme McGowan (12.59) and Liam Rodger (17.38) making up Team B

Sunday saw the first Cross Country of the season at TJ McElmeel Cup taking place in Palace Demesne in Armagh.  Kicking off the events was Calum McCready  in the U9 Boys 500m followed by Hamish Stewart-Orr, Rory Braniff and Olly Simpson in the U13 Boys 1500m and Keara Simpson in the U13 Girls 1500m.  Conditions continued to be good for the Junior’s events although the ground under foot was starting to become slightly muddy and soft under foot.  Next came the U15 Boys and U15 Girls races which saw Luke Braniff and Willow Farrington taking on the 3000m course.  As the Senior Women (5000m) took to the start line the heavens opened and forgot to stop, however Sarah Luce McCready didn’t let it stop her as she ran through the mud around the course in 32:37, followed by Gilliam Pearson (34:49), Louise Barnes (35:33) and Sheena Crone (36:52).  The undulating grounds of Palace Demesne have been in situ for over 200 years and comprise of nearly 300acres, covering 5000m of the grounds Norman Mawhinney had a fantastic run in the Masters Mens race finishing in 22:05.  The final race of the day was the Senior Mens race which was a total of 3 laps (7500) of the already churned over course.  This did not deter the strong field of men which saw Graeme Magowan complete the course in 40:55, Peter Briggs in 43:19 and first timers Craig Simpson and Stephen Braniff in 44:27 and 1:01:23 respectively.  The next race is in the series is Bobby Rea International Cross Country at Billy Neill MBE Playing Fields.

It was a busy weekend at Parkrun, with 55 Striders running at 9 venues.  Gavin McDonnell continued his tourism by travelling to Isabel Trail.  In Comber, Matthew Halus was 1st with a PB (18:35), and Curtis McCaw 2nd.  Willow Farrington was 1st female.  Olivia Mickelson ran her first parkrun!  PBs also recorded by Gareth Davies (20:51), Craig Simpson (23:41), Joe Brown (24:11), Keara Simpson (29:10), Natasha Graham (29:44) and Olly Simpson (34:39), with Course PBs by Luke Braniff, Eva Coey, Gillian Kerr and Jilly Coey.  Angie Crone and George Johnston celebrated their 50th Parkruns at Stormont, with George (22:01) and Steven Hanna (22:30) also enjoying PBs.  Michael Williams ran his best time at Stormont.  Martina Finn headed to Rostrevor with 5 Strider friends to mark her 100th Parkrun.  Jenny Taylor was first female across the line, while Nicola Forsythe recorded a course PB.  Over at Crawfordsburn, Kathy Henderson recorded a course PB.

14 Junior runners celebrated Lydia Blair’s 100th Parkrun at Comber, an incredible achievement for a girl who has only just turned 8 years old!  Luke Braniff was 2nd, Joshua Bingham 3rd (PB 8:46) and Eva Coey 3rd female.  Zara Johnston (9:51) and Parker Clements (10:23) also joined this week’s PB list.

Scrabo Striders meet at Londonderry Park on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7.15pm with social runs on Friday evening and Sunday morning.  A running club for all alilities with something for all so why not come down and see what we are all about.  You can be sure of a warm welcome!


Back to News