Striders Weekly Update 29/11/2023

Posted: 29/11/2023

This week’s running kicked off on Saturday with Born2Run’s Run Forest Run event in Gosford. Due to the postponement of the Minnowburn event a few weeks back due to flooding, Gosford served as the first run of the series for the 620-strong crowd that took on the 5K and 10K distances on offer.

Scrabo Striders were represented in the 5K by Luke Braniff, crossing the line in 23:00, followed closely by Willow Farrington in 23:21 claiming 3rd place Female finisher. Next was Karen Wilson in 29:20, Stephen Braniff in 34:35 and Tina Hewitt in 50:36.

Opting for the 10K route were Chris Edwards, coming home in 52:22, and Graeme Farrington in 57:04. Well done all!

The main event of the weekend was the Malcolm Cup Cross Country held at Queen’s Playing Fields off Malone Road and organised by Annadale Striders. The day comprised 5 events of varying distances around the rain-soaked terrain surrounding the pitches. First event of the day was the 3-mile veteran race which saw Norman Mawhinney come home in a time of 20:08.

Next up it was the turn of the club’s junior members, with the 1-mile under 13 race. Daniel Barnes was first Strider home in 8:15 followed by Keara Simpson in 8:42. The 2-mile under 15 and under 17s races were next on the agenda, with Luke Braniff first club member home in the U15 category in 14:19, followed by Willow Farrington in 14:49 and Lauren Semple in 15:22. The U17 category saw Bobby McGonigal home in 15:13, followed by Kris Williams in 17:25.

The 3 mile Women’s race was next up, on the now well-churned course. Jenny Taylor was first Strider to finish in a time of 23:12, followed by Heather Baron (23:53), Fiona McAvoy (27:21), Alison Shanks (27:43), Judith Boyd and Sonya Summersgill finishing together as always in 29:17, Karen Wilson (29:42), Claire Briggs (20:07), Lyndsey Blair (30:16), Marilyn Kennedy (30:33), Gillian Pearson (31:05), Sheena Crone (32:35), Janice McCartney (32:49), Cheryl Alexander (35:00), Jennifer McAteer (39:17) and Karen Thompson in 38:00.

The last race of the day was the 4-mile Malcolm Cup, with first club member across the line being Matt Bell in a time of 27:58, closely followed by Andy Haylett (28:04), then Colin Harper (28:23), Gareth Davies (28:36), Graeme McGowan (28:42), Jonathan Swann (30:34), Jonathan Bull (32:49), Peter McGonigal (32:58), Steven Hanna (33:20), Peter Briggs (33:40), George Johnston (33:41), Michael Burgess (33:42), Colin Verth (34:24), Michael Williams (35:03), Paul Blair (36:21), Chris Edwards (37:25) and Ian Frazer in 39:26. Congratulations to all competitors for taking on this tough challenge, and for representing the club so well.

Travelling to Milan to take part in the Milano21 Half Marathon was Chris Burns. Chris earned himself a Personal Best, completing the 21.1KM route round the city streets in 1:42:56.

Special mention this week to Steven Hanna, who completed the gruelling task of a treadmill marathon on Friday, as part of the Urban Fittness 24 hour spin-a-thon, raising funds to support Anna Rainey, who suffered a brain injury during surgery to remove a tumour. Steven completed his marathon in 4:21 according to the treadmill, and then had to jump back on and run another 7 minutes when he realised his watch hadn’t recognised the full distance!

Parkruns were popular as ever this week, with Matthew Halus earning a PB and a first place finish in the club’s most popular venue of Comber. Among the 20 other club members joining Matthew were Colin Harper, Craig Simpson and Karen Clarke, all also recording PBs; Gillian Pearson with a course PB, first timer Katie Irvine and Olly Simpson completing his 10th 5K parkrun.

Victoria Parkrun was the place to be for PBs, with Thomas Steele, Matt Bell, Gareth Davies, Francis Gilmore and Rachel Bell all recording new overall best parkrun times. Elsewhere, Amanda Martin ran Wallace parkrun for the first time where Kim Cochrane recorded a course PB, Faye and Eva Alexander earned course PBs at Knockbracken, and Gerogia McGonigal got a PB on her first time at Holy Cross College parkrun.

For Sunday’s junior parkrun, Comber was the only game in town, with 15 club juniors enjoying the 2k run. Taking first place overall and a new PB was Hamish Orr-Stewart, followed by Luke Braniff, Willow Farrington and Rory Braniff in 2nd, 3rd and 4th place. Then came Joe Brown, Daniel Barnes with a course PB, Calum McCready, Heath Farrington, Keara Simpson, Maddie Dynes with a PB, Lydia Blair, Parker Clements, Rachel Brown, Harriet Frazer and Nathaniel Frazer.

Scrabo Striders offers training sessions up to 4 nights per week where runners of all abilities train together in a friendly, welcoming and non-competitive atmosphere. Prospective new members are always welcome to come along and try a session or two before signing up. Why not get in touch and see what you think? For more information search for Scrabo Striders Running Club on Facebook or visit


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