Striders Weekly Update 03/01/2024

Posted: 3/1/2024

A busy week for Scrabo Striders began with a total of 43 running Christmas Day parkruns at Bangor, Comber and Stormont.  At Stormont, Gavin McDonnell celebrated the remarkable achievement of reaching 250 parkruns, while Michael Burgess ran a personal best (21:01) and Zara Johnston a course PB (27:36).

The CIYMS 5k Fun Run took place on Boxing Day, organised by Orangegrove AC and raising funds for NI Hospice and NI Children’s Hospice.  Burning off their Christmas dinners were Norman Mawhinney (19:55), Daniel Clarke (20:21), Lauren Semple (24:40) and Michael Warke (33:26).

The parkrun milestones continued on Saturday, when Allie Farley and Chris Burns celebrated their 100th and 25th events respectively at Stormont, and Chris Hollies ran his 50th at Knockbracken Reservoir.  Zara Johnston continued her brilliant form with another course PB at Knockbracken, while Curtis McCaw and Matthew Halus took 1st and 2nd in Comber and Willow Farrington 3rd female in Bangor.  Matt Bell and Rachel Lyttle enjoyed a spot of tourism at Ashton Court in Bristol.  In total, 34 Striders braved the extremely wet weather to run a parkrun.

Saturday saw the annual Newcastle AC Christmas Cracker take place on a challenging wet, muddy and hilly trail course in the fields and forests around Castlewellan.  Runners completed the 8 mile + race in pairs.  Striders dressed up and joined friends from other local clubs, with costumes including Wonder Woman, Super Mario Brothers, Gin and Tonic, Bees and saucy Tomato Ketchup bottles!  Norman Mawhinney teamed up with Laurence Johnston of North Belfast Harriers to take victory in the M120-139 combined age category, finishing in an impressive time of 1:06:13.  Following were: Sarah Gibson (North Down AC)/ Heather Baron (1:23:31), Andrew Garrett (Ballygalget AC)/ Daniel Clarke (1:26:31), Chris Burns/ Abrar Hossain (1:28:11), Colin Harper/ Catherine Cauley (1:28:14), Alison Busby/ Jenny Taylor (1:32:53), Darren Johnston/ Michael Williams (1:39:14), Johanna Cunningham/ Emma Clements (1:40:00), Fiona McAvoy/ Martina Finn (1:44:40), Olli Seeger/ Gary Clarke (1:46:25), Paul Blair/ Craig Simpson (1:49:29), Peter McGonigal/ Sonya Summersgill (1:49:40), Karen Wilson/ Chris Edwards (1:55:17), Michael Warke/ Daniel Warke (1:59:39), Amanda Martin/ Graeme McGowan (2:02:01), Graeme Farrington/ Stephen Braniff (2:05:34), Emma McCracken/ Natasha Graham (2:06:36), Ashlyn Allen/ Teresa Evans (Larne AC) (2:07:12), Karen Clarke/ Gillian Pearson (2:09:55), Cheryl Alexander/ Elaine McGonigal (2:19:04), Lyndsey Blair/ Naomi Fleming (2:22:35), Nicola Forsythe/ Donna Dugan (2:26:41).

On Saturday and Sunday, East Antrim Marathon Series organised Back-to-Back marathons, half marathons and 10Ks in Carrickfergus, using a coastal out and back route.  Colin Campbell ran the two marathons in 4:59:46 and 5:43:14, bringing his total amount of marathons completed to 80!  Running the Sunday half marathon were Dee Patterson (2:18:23), Michele Ennis (2:20:09), Allie Farley (3:14:37) and Liam Rodger (3:14:38).  Jennifer McAteer finished the Sunday 10k in 1:15:08.

15 Striders entered the final race of the ChampionChip 10k Grand Prix series, Expleo Festival of Running 10k on Airport Road West, Belfast.  Leading the way was Andy Haylett, matching his PB time of 38:47, with Matthew Halus not far behind in a PB of 39:37.  Next to cross the line were Norman Mawhinney (40:40), Gareth Davies (41:52), Graeme McGowan (42:08 PB), Michael Johnston (44:26), George Johnston (46:42) and Steven Hanna (47:22 PB).  Mark Halus (54:01), Chris Edwards (56:19), Karen Warnock (56:22 PB), Karen Wilson (58:07), Sarah Luce (59:57), Naomi Magowan (1:00:28) and Clare McIlveen (1:02:32) completed the club line up.

The Expleo Festival also included a 5k and 3k, which attracted a further 16 members.  Finishing the 5k were Michael Warke (19:55), Harry McCready (22:16), Willow Farrington (23:08), Luke Braniff (23:55), Maxine Dynes (25:17), Graeme Farrington (26:35), Eva Coey (27:39), Georgia McGonigal (30:17), Stephen Braniff (34:14) and Fiona McAvoy (36:00).  Rory Braniff (14:42), Heath Farrington (14:45), Calum McCready (18:08), Maddie Dynes (18:42), Jilly Coey (21:08) and Gillian Kerr (21:08) ran in the 3k race.

2024 kicks off with club training 4 nights a week (Monday to Thursday), including two Progression sessions for those returning after injury or wanting to increase their distance from 5k to 10k.  The usual social runs on Fridays and Sundays also continue, with many also beginning training plans for races such as Belfast marathon.  More information about the club can be found on Facebook or  A very Happy New Year from all on the writing team.

Michael Burgess


Back to News