Striders Weekly Update 04/10/2023

Posted: 4/10/2023

The running weekend burst into life with the much-anticipated Bangor 10K, a spectacle that drew nearly a thousand enthusiastic participants to its starting line. The race commenced with a descent from Bangor Castle, unleashing a sea of runners onto Castle Street, Upper Main Street, and Lower Main Street. The route then flattened and meandered along the coastline on Seacliff Road, passing through Ballyholme and entering Groomsport via Donaghadee Road. Runners then travelled back along the scenic Bangor Road, skirting past Ballyholme Beach, and following the path along the Esplanade. The sharp ascent of Shandon Drive presented a formidable challenge, as it added back the elevation that had been descended at the race's outset.

Now on the final stretch, runners continued along College Avenue and Hamilton Road, towards the cheers of spectators and the anticipation of the finish line in Ward Park, where many used the last of their energy for a sprint finish to shave those last valuable few seconds off their time.

Among the field were 35 Scrabo Striders with first finisher for the club (and true to his usual form claiming 1st place in the M65 category) was Norman Mawhinney in a time of 37:05. Next up and on his first outing at the course was Matt Bell in 41:08, with Colin Harper hot on his heels 3 seconds later and claiming a Course PB of 41:11. Next up was the club’s first female finisher with Catherine Cauley achieving a Course PB of 42:42, closely followed by Heather Baron achieving a 10K PB in 43:00. Next was Michael Johnston in 44:05 followed by Jenny Taylor with an overall 10K PB of 44:31 and Gareth Davies also with a PB of 45:13. George Johnston and Steven Hanna were next in, with both claiming PBs just 5 seconds apart in 47:54 and 47:59 respectively. A course PB was had by Rachel Bell in 48:03, followed across the line by Amanda Martin (49:15), Graeme McGowan (49:16) and Michael Warke (49:34).

Crossing the line in 50:12 to claim a course PB was Michael Williams followed by Chris Edwards on his first outing in Bangor achieving an overall PB (51:39), Kris Williams (52:09), Olli Seeger (52:47) and Katie Lyttle (54:22). Just a second later and achieving an overall 10K PB was Catherine Lavery in 54:23, followed in by Dee Patterson in 53:24 and Martin Conroy in 55:16. A time of 55:40 clinched an overall 10K PB for Karen Farrelly, who was followed to the finish by Louise Barnes (57:34) and Sarah Luce, making her first outing on the Bangor course and earning a PB in the process. Lyndsey Blair was next up in 58:22, with Ken Rodgers 8 seconds later in 58:30. Two more first timers and two more overall PBs in a row next, with Karen Warnock and Karen Wilson crossing the line in 1:00:15 and 1:01:17 respectively. Clare McIlveen finished in 1:03:12 followed by yet another Personal Best with 1:04:39 by first timer Cathie Lowry. Completing the club’s lineup were Nicola Forsythe with a course PB of 1:06:55, Janet Mowat (1:09:36), first timer Louise Booth (1:12:23), Frances Wills (1:14:28) and Donna Dugan in 1:22:04. Congratulations to all runners for representing the club so well.

Sunday presented the opportunity for bigger distances, with Half Marathons in Monaghan and Donegal, with the latter also offering a three-quarter marathon option. Travelling to Monaghan for the Monaghan Phoenix Half Marathon were Striders Michael Williams, George McGonigal and Jennifer McAteer. The course took in approximately 8 miles of roads around the town before entering Rossmore Park forest for the finish. First Across the line Michael Williams in 1:54:52, following on from his course PB in Bangor the day before. Geroge McGonigal was next in 2:14:18, followed by Jennifer McAteer in 3:01:17.

Travelling to Ballybofey in Donegal were Judith Boyd and Sonya Summersgill, competing in the Donegal East Half Marathon, as well as Michael Warke taking on the three-quarter marathon option. The course consisted of rural roads and took in the banks of the River Finn. Crossing the line together in the Half Marathon, Sonya and Judith recorded a time of 2:37:58. In the three-quarter marathon, Michael Warke crossed the line in 3:14:28, having ran Bangor 10K the previous day. Well done to all!

Parkruns were popular as ever on Saturday with 39 Striders running in 8 venues. PBs were had by Craig Simpson, Penny Hamilton and Kiera Simpson at Stormont, as well as Joe Brown and Rory Braniff in Comber, where Curtis McCaw came in 2nd overall. Willow Farrington achieved 1st Female position at Enniskillen, while Richard Murray ran his 25th milestone run in Larne.

At Junior Parkruns on Sunday, Willow Farrington continued a successful weekend with overall 1st Place at Broadmeadow, while Joshua Bingham ran a Course PB at Bangor, and Luke and Rory Braniff were at Musgrave, where Luke claimed overall 1st place.

Most popular junior parkrun was as usual Comber, where Harry McCready was 2nd Overall, followed by Joe Brown in 3rd with a PB, Hamish Orr-Stewart, Lauren Semple 1st F, Keara Simpson, Daniel Barns (PB), Adam Haylett, Calum McCready achieving a PB on his 11th (half marathon) milestone, Liam Robinson, Owen Semple (PB), Jack Robinson (PB), Lydia Blair, Olly Simpson, Maddie Dynes, Rachel Brown, Nathaniel Frazer and Harriet Frazer on her 11th milestone.

Over the summer, 4 worthy runners received the Boyd Rice Solicitors Member of the Month awards from the Club Captains.  July’s awards went to juniors Daniel Barnes and Eva Coey.  Daniel completed Couch to 5k in May after recovering from serious illness, and has since gone from strength to strength, recording fantastic times at Parkruns and races.  He also competed in the Inter School Championships, and received bronze and silver awards at school sports day.  Captain Andy Haylett described Daniel as a dedicated and enthusiastic runner and an inspiration to all.

Eva has been a regular at training sessions for 2 years, and Captain Judith Boyd remarked on her fantastic performances at Run the Trails 5k, Donaghadee 5k (2nd U15 female), Hillsborough 5k (4th U16 female) and Bob and Bert’s North Down where she was 1st female across the finish line!  Judith and Eva’s Mum (Jilly) described her as a fantastic member of the club and an amazing role model for her little sister.

The August awards were given to Chris Edwards and his partner Karen Wilson.  Chris had a fantastic August, with PBs at The County Down 5k (24:16), Dambusters 10k (52:43) and Storming the Castle 10k (52:21).  He went on to run over 33 miles in under 8 hours at Last Strider Standing in Castle Ward.  Chris is a friendly, dedicated, enthusiastic runner who has been steadily improving through regular training, parkruns and races.

Karen is a hard working runner who supports others and has been bettering her times in 3k time trials and 10k races.  She has become a familiar face at training, trails and races since joining the club earlier this year.  Over the summer she competed in Sea to Sky 5k (32:23), Storming the Castle 10k (1:04:22) and Strangford 10k (1:03:37), among others.

Scrabo striders meet for training Monday to Thursday at 7:15pm in Londonderry Park Newtownards and new members of all abilities are always welcome – find us on Facebook or for more information.


Back to News