Striders Weekly Update 07/12/2023

Posted: 7/12/2023

Scrabo Striders Article 3rd December 2023

By George McGonigal

On Saturday 2nd December the annual Seely Cup 10K took place at Ormeau Park in Belfast. Organised by Willowfield Harriers the race is now in its 41st year and is as popular as ever with some 840 runners taking part. Newtownards based running club Scrabo Striders had 17 athletes competing at the event over a course through the park and along the embankment.

First home for Scrabo and in 113th position overall was Thomas Steele in 35 minutes and 14 seconds followed by Martin Strachan 36:01, Matt Bell with a personal best (PB) time of 38:25, Daniel Clarke 40:30, Colin Harper 40:31 and then Gareth Davies in 41:28. First Scrabo Strider lady was Jenny Taylor recording a PB of 44:19 followed by Jordan McIntyre 45:08, Rachel Lyttle 45:29 (PB), Michael Williams 46:44 and Lorna McMurray with a PB of 49:31 to complete the sub 50 minute group.

Next was Chris Edwards in 50:01, Darren Johnston 50:34, Curtis Adams 51:12, Katy Lyttle 52:24 (PB), Dee Patterson 52:56 (PB) and Karen Wilson with a PB of 56:07 by over two minutes! Well done all representing Scrabo Striders at one of the biggest races of the calendar!

Travelling further afield and running in sunshine and twenty degrees were Striders Norman Mawhinney and Amanda Martin, competing in the Valencia Marathon, Spain. Norman produced another fantastic time of 2 hours 56 minutes and 59 seconds while Amanda recorded her 2nd fastest marathon time of 04:06:37. Very well-done guys, very envious of your trip to sunny Spain!

On Sunday the Christmas Classic 5k took place, one of the oldest races in Newry. A no frills race, not chipped, race number written on hand, all proceeds from the £5 entry to charity. A flat and fast route where sole Scrabo Strider Jennifer McAteer finished in 34.32. Well done, Jennifer.

Also, on Sunday the NI hospice held its annual Jingle 5K fundraising run at V36 Valleypark, where Chris Burns was the first to finish for the club in 23:16 and overall 21st place, followed by Steven Hanna 23:34, Lauren Semple 27:05, Carli Lindgren 32:45 and Karen Thompson in 36:04.

Timing company Championchip Ireland run a 10K races series where the Scrabo Striders Team is currently placed 3rd in a field of ten and Norman Mawhinney is 2nd based on an age-graded performance of 91.07%. Kee it up!

Saturday Parkrun, the weekly free 5km timed run at a park near you, proved as popular as ever with 52 Striders taking part across 9 venues. The most popular was Orangefield where 21 club members joined Karen Thompson to celebrate her huge milestone of completing 250 Parkruns, That’s 1250 km of Parkrunning in addition to volunteering. Huge congratulations Karen! Andy Haylett was first Strider home in a fantastic 19:50, Willow Farrington was 3rd female in 23:39 while Maxine and Maddie Dynes secured personal bests of 29:36 and 33:31 respectively.

At Comber parkrun super-fast Strider Matthew Halus took overall 1st place in 19:22 while at Stormont first home for the club was Chris Burns in 22:32. Georgia McGonigal travelled to Wallace Park Lisburn to grab a new personal best of 30:48 followed a second later by Dad Peter, then team Alexnder with Cheryl 33 minutes exactly and Faye 33:46, both course personal bests, followed in by Eva on 29:29.

Jonathan Bull was the first Scrabo Strider to finish at Bangor in a personal best time of 20:54 followed by Andy Boal 28:52, Karen Warnock 29:59, Carli Lindgren 31:36 and Louise Barnes in 33:51. Further afield Lorraine Adams completed Derry City parkrun for the first time in 31:26 and Gavin McDonnell wombled his way round Wimbledon Common in 31:53.

The Scrabo Striders Junior Section goes from strength to strength. Sunday junior Parkrun saw Harry McCready take 2nd place in Comber covering the 2km course in 8 minutes 44 seconds, with Joshua Bingham taking 3rd in 09:13, followed by Joe Brown 09:40, Keara Simpson 3rd female in 11:13, Parker Clements 11:39 and Calum McCready in 11:40. Next in were Lydia Blair in 12:24, Nathaniel Frazer 14:23, Rachel Brown 14:31, Maddie Dynes 14:49 and Olly Simpson 14:50.

Over at Musgrave Parkrun the top three places were all grabbed by Scrabo Juniors, with Luke Braniff 1st in 08:13, Willow Farrington 2nd in 08:18 and Rory Braniff 3rd in 09:02, with Heath Farrington completing in 10:17. Well done kids!

Looking ahead, next Sunday Scrabo Striders hold their annual “Festive Four”, a 4-mile run along the sea wall and back followed by some hot drinks and even mulled wine. Scrabo Striders are one of the biggest running clubs in Northern Ireland and train all abilities together on evenings Monday through Thursday, with some social runs at the weekend. Newcomers can check us out for free.  More information can be found at


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