Striders Weekly Update 06/03/2024

Posted: 6/3/2024

The main races of the week for Scrabo Striders took place at Carlingford, with distance options of half marathon and 10k.  The half route began by the sea in Carlingford, heading inland on the Cooley Peninsula and rising steeply just over 200ft in the first 5k, before descending to the coast for the second half of the race.  The 10k followed the same route for the first and last 3k, with a shorter middle section.  Conditions were challenging due to the low temperature and strong headwind but there were blue skies and lovely views to enjoy!  Jennifer McAteer represented the club in the 10k, finishing in 01:19:39.  Daniel Clarke led the Striders in the half marathon (1:35:26), with the next four across the line all celebrating PBs: Michael Warke (1:36:16), Jenny Taylor (1:39:01), Chris Burns (1:40:43), Lorna McMurray (1:51:41).  Next to finish were Alison Busby (1:54:04), Amanda Martin (1:57:15), Fiona McAvoy (1:58:38), Kathryn Chesney with a PB (2:03:58) and Martina Finn (2:04:43).

Also on Saturday, Karen Thompson journeyed to the seaside resort of Bundoran in Country Donegal to take on the 10 mile race.  The route headed south west along the scenic but windy Wild Atlantic Way into County Leitrim, before turning and heading back to Bundoran Main Beach via the Roguey Walk.

No less than 52 Striders took part in Comber parkrun on Saturday morning, where Paul Blair and Dee Patterson celebrated their 50th parkruns.  Paul ran with his daughter Lydia, who crossed the line in a fabulous PB time of 33:09, while his wife and club Vice Captain Lyndsey also achieved a new parkrun PB (27:05).  Dee celebrated his 50th milestone by crossing the line in 50th place (25:04)!  Matthew Halus crossed the line in 2nd with another PB (18:17), with Curtis McCaw in 3rd and Willow Farrington first female.  Also running their fastest ever parkruns were Gareth Davies (19:20), Karen Farrelly (26:28), Karen Wilson (26:38), Sonya Summersgill (27:35) and Rachel Brown (37:05).  Course PBs were set by Zara Johnston (25:53) and Stephen Braniff (31:25).  Elsewhere, there were course PBs at Orangefield for Faye and Cheryl Alexander (both 33:32) and at Portrush for Jonathan Keenan (25:49), while Georgia McGonigal continued her parkrun tourism by running at Larne.  A total of 68 club members participated in parkruns.

A fantastic set of results for Scrabo at junior parkruns on Sunday, with Joe Brown 1st at Comber, Lydia Blair and Maddie Dynes 2nd and 3rd females respectively at Comber, Luke Braniff 1st at Musgrave and Willow Farrington 1st at Larne!  There were also course PBs recorded by Olly Simpson (11:28 Jordanstown) and Heath Farrington (9:34 Musgrave).

Joshua and Michael Bingham travelled to Sandy Bay Playing Fields in Larne on Sunday to compete in the East Coast Athletics Club Junior Cross Country Race 3.  Michael crossed the line in 8:44 in the Minor Boys 1600m, while Joshua finished the 2000m Junior Boys race in 9:14.

Every year Scrabo Striders organise four races that are open to the public.  The first two of these are now available for entering via  Run the Runways (Friday 10th May 2024) is a rare opportunity to race on an airfield, with the flat 5k route covering all three runways at Ards airport.  If that is not enough, you can run the route twice in the 10k race!  Ards Half Marathon & Walk (Friday 28th June 2024) takes in the hilly but beautiful countryside around Scrabo before descending into Comber town and returning to Ards via the dual carriageway, Moate Road and Scrabo Road.  Keep an eye out for Run the Trails (Mount Stewart 3rd August) and Ards 5 Mile (6th September) later in the year!

Michael Burgess


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