Striders Weekly Update 10/04/2024

Posted: 10/4/2024

The first week in April was a busy one for marathons and half marathons, with Scrabo Striders travelling to races in Northern Ireland, England and Europe.

On Saturday, Georgia McGonigal headed all the way to Prague in Czech Republic to compete in her first ever half marathon, running through the beautiful historic centre of the city along with thousands of runners.  Georgia set a fantastic time of 2:32:14 in hot and sunny conditions!

Also travelling to Europe was Coach Chris Burns, for the Paris Marathon on Sunday.  Beginning on the famous Champs-Élysées, the route headed east to the turning point around 10 miles in Bois de Vincennes, Paris’ largest public park.  From there it followed the River Seine west, turning again around 23 miles in Bois de Boulogne to head to the finish line on Avenue Foch.  Chris passed many famous landmarks along the way to complete the marathon in a PB time of 3:54:13.

Slightly closer to home, 5 Striders took on the London Landmarks Half Marathon on Sunday.  It was a first half marathon for Donna Dugan, who completed the course in a brilliant 2:55:16.  Sarah Luce achieved a PB time of 2:13:46.  Also running well were Jonathan Winter (1:59:29), Lorraine Adams (2:21:57) and Kim Cochrane (2:46:54).

Colin Campbell is no stranger to a marathon, having ran over 80 of them!  He chose Brighton Marathon on Sunday for his latest, finishing in 4:39:03 despite the heat making running more challenging.

Another Strider taking on a distance for the first time was Coach Louise Barnes, who took on the East Antrim Marathon Series Bunny Hop Marathon in Carrickfergus on Sunday.  A fabulous sub 5 hour time of 4:59:23 should boost Louise’s confidence as she continues to train for Belfast marathon in a few weeks.  Maxine Dynes also had a great run, crossing the finish line in 4:35:06, while Jennifer McAteer completed the Half Marathon in 3:06:46.

Three experienced club runners took to the start line at Omagh Half Marathon on Sunday.  Norman Mawhinney’s 1:26:02 finish time meant he retained his NI & Ulster M65 Championship, while Graeme McGowan celebrated a PB of 1:33:47 and Michael Johnston enjoyed his first Omagh half with a superb time of 1:36:16.

Storm Kathleen led to the cancellation of a number of Parkruns on Saturday morning.  Despite this, 37 Striders still ran at an event, while others volunteered.  Comber had the largest Strider presence, with 24 members.  Matthew Halus took 1st place, while Michael Burgess recorded a course PB.  There were also course PBs for Paul Blair at Waterworks and Sara McMaster at Belfast Victoria.  Travelling further afield were Lorraine Adams (Harlow), Jill Geddis (Newcastle Park) and Jonathan Keenan (Limepark Playing Fields).

Sunday’s Junior Parkrun saw Nathaniel Frazer complete his 50th event at Comber, which earns him an orange (ultra) wristband.  Keara Simpson was 2nd female at Comber, while Luke Braniff took 3rd at Waterworks.

On Wednesday, Captain Judith Boyd presented her final Boyd Rice Solicitors Member of the Month to Penny Hamilton.  Penny is a friendly, welcoming and active Strider, regular at training and pacer at the monthly paced runs.  In March she achieved PB times at Stormont Parkrun, SPAR Craic 10k and Portadown Half Marathon.  Penny is currently training hard for London and Belfast marathons, and the club wishes her the very best for these.

With four evenings of training sessions (Monday to Thursday), social runs, parkruns, trail runs and races, there is always something happening at Scrabo Striders.  New members are always welcome to come and join in, make new friends and improve their fitness and wellbeing.  Find out more at or search on Facebook.

Michael Burgess


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