Striders Weekly Update 22/11/2023

Posted: 22/11/2023

Racing started early this week with Run in the Dark on Wednesday evening.  Belfast is one of the flagship events for Run in the Dark and see’s nearly 3,000 people slip on their red flashing armbands to run 5k or 10k in a bid to raise funds to help cure paralysis.  The event is always a firm favourite with Striders and this year was no exception with 24 striders illuminating the grounds of Stormont Estate.  First Strider home and taking a 2nd place podium finish in the 5k run was Curtis McCaw (18:57) followed by Colin Verth (25:00), Ben McCracken (26:10) and Hector Adair (28:35).  First Lady Strider over the line in the 5k event was Clare McIlveen (30:20) followed by Cathie Lowry (31:32) and Carli Lindgren (32:40).  Next to follow was John Bingham (33:40), Karen Clarke (35:04), Fiona McAvoy (42:55) and Martina Finn (42:56).  Taking on the 10k was Gareth Davies (43:53) who was first Strider over the line followed by first female strider Jenny Taylor (46:23).  Next across the line and under 50 minutes were Michael Burgess (47:00) and Steven Hanna (47:24).  Finishing in under 55minutes was Penny Hamilton (53:45), Amanda Martin (53:51) and Gayle Malaugh (53:59).  Next to finish was Sarah Luce (58:21), Dee Patterson (58:42), Ken Rodgers (59:46), Martin Conroy (1:03:45), Naomi Magowan (1:04:12) and Emma McCracken (1:07:44).

Thursday evening saw 8 Striders graduate following 9 weeks of  Progression and Rehab Sessions.  The sessions are a great way for anyone increasing their distance from 5k to 10k or coming back to running following an injury.  Sessions take place on a Tuesday and Thursday evening in Londonderry Park from 7.15pm.  Congratulations to Craig, Steven, Marilyn, Janice, Janet, Frances and Donna.  A specialist mention to John on completing his first 10k run in over 20 years!  We look forward to seeing you all at Monday and Wednesday’s training sessions.

An early start on Saturday morning for club members Norman Mawhinney and Heather Baron, who travelled over 100 miles to Clontarf for the Joe Duffy BMW Clontarf Half Marathon.  Even after an eventful journey Norman managed a 1st in the M60 category finishing in a time of 1:37:51 with Heather finishing in 1:41:54.

It was all about the milestones and pbs this week at parkrun with Mairead Curran, Colin Harper, Robin Adams and Michael Burgess doing just that.  The biggest turnout was at Victoria Park where Colin managed to run himself a Course PB of 19:41 on his 50th Parkrun.  He was joined by Steven Hanna (22:13) Curtis Adams (24:31), Karen Farrelly (26:33), Heath Farrington (28:59) and Graeme Farrington (29:01) who also ran themselves Course PBs.  Personal Bests were  ran by Chris Burns (21:42), Darren Johnston (23:51),  Zara Johnston (25:56) and Marilyn Kennedy (28:32).  Mairead ran her 25th Parkrun at Stormont whilst Robin took to Comber for his 100th.  Michael Burgess took to Jesmond Dene for the first time and to completed his 100th Parkrun.  Course PBs were chalked up for Karen Wilson (29:09) at Bangor, Craig Simpson (22:12) at Comber and Thomas Steele (18:11) which also saw him taking an overall finishing position of 2nd at Ormeau.  Personal Bests were ran by George T McGonigal (33:06) on his first ever outing to Derrynoid Forest along with Peter Doggart (24:36) and Olly Simpson (29:46) at Comber.

Storm Debi did not deter heartened Striders Colin Campbell and Liam Rodger who took on the We Run Wild El Cheapo Marathon on Saturday 19th November.  The event was billed as “no frills” and saw participants cover 26.2miles with no signage or marshals just the GPX of the route downloaded onto watches or phones.  First home for Striders was Colin Campbell (05:11:00) followed by Liam Rodger (05:40:16).

Junior Parkrun took place on Sunday morning with 9 of our Junior Striders running at either Comber or Belfast Victoria.  Comber saw Harry McCready take a first finisher overall in a time of 08:26 followed by third finisher Joshua Bingham in 09:17 and Daniel Barnes in 09:57.  First female finisher was Keara Simpson in 10:05 followed by Calum McCready running himself a PB in 10:08.  Next over the finishline was Olly Simpson in 11:32 and Lydia Blair in 11:41.  Over at Belfast Victoria twins Nathaniel and Harriet Frazer took on the 2k distance finishing in 14:11 and 17:12 respectively.

Comber Cup at Billy Neills Playing fields in Comber was the venue for cross country.  An extremely muddy course underfoot made for a difficult run, however it didn’t stop the Juniors that were out in force.  P6 and P7 were the first group under starters orders and running the 1k loop was Hamish Orr-Stewart, Rory Braniff, Joshua Bingham Adam Haylett, Olly Simpson, Maria McKee and Peter McKee.  Next up saw U14, U16 and U18 all toe the line together with U14s and U16s running 2 loops and U18s running 3 loops.  Competing in the U14 girls was Willow Farrington (13:45), Zara Johnston (16:04), Eva Coey (16:08), Isabella Haylett (17:03) and Keara Simpson (17:44).  Running in the U14 boys were Harry McCready (14:39) and Daniel Barnes (17.22) with Luke Braniff (13:04) in the U16s and Kris Williams (24:10) in the U18 boys races.

As the dark clouds gathered overhead the Ladies and Male Vets lined up for the start of the John McKeag Cup, first home in purple was Norman Wawhinney (22:31) followed by Heather Baron (27:17), Jenny Taylor (27:24), Fiona McAvoy (32:15), Penny Hamilton (33:20), Sarah Luce (34:57), Louise Barnes (35:03), Martina Fin (35:15), Judith Boyd (36:00), Sonya Summersgill (36:00), Karen Wilson (36:03), Claire Briggs (36:08), Beverley McKee (36:19), Gillian Pearson (37:09), Karen Warnock (37:57), Lyndsey Blair (38:09), Janice Macartney (39:13), Emma McCracken (39:36), Sheena Crone (39:57), Cheryl Alexander (43:17), Jenna Lavery (43:17), Jennifer McAteer (46:08) and Karen Thompson (1:01:53).

The last race of the day was the Comber Cup which was thoroughly enjoyed by Matt Bell (35:57), Andy Haylett (36:28), Colin Harper (37:10), Gareth Davies (37:31), Graeme McGowan (38:12), Jonathan Bull (40:22), Jonathan Swann (41:46), George Johnston (43:21), Steven Hanna (43:50), Michael Williams (43:58), Chris Burns (44:05), Craig Simpson (44:23), Peter McGonigal (44:28), Peter Briggs (45:27), Paul Blair (51:15)and Chris Edwards (53:41)

Scrabo Striders is an all abilities club that offers sessions 4 nights a week from a dedicated team of nearly 20 coaches and includes a monthly paced run, a 3k time trial,  progressive and rehabilitation sessions along with running and athletic sessions for young athletes from 8 years of age.  If you would like to know more please check out our Facebook Page “Scrabo Striders Running Club” or our website “”.


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