Striders Weekly Update 01/05/2024

Posted: 1/5/2024

Striders Strike Again with many PBs!


Young Scrabo Strider Maddie Dynes celebrated her 25th Parkrun on Saturday in style with a fabulous cake, alongside 33 club members who supported this amazing achievement.   Inspired by Maddie’s commitment, 11 year old Sophia Rea completed her inaugural parkrun with a smashing time of 33:26 as she becomes one of the newest members of the Junior Programme.

Comber Parkrun is a notoriously difficult place to get a personal best (PB) but Striders strike again with many achievements. Gareth Davies notably secured 2nd place with a course personal best (CPB) time of 18:54. Following closely were several more PBs: Chris Burns achieved a CPB of 21:58, Alison Shanks set a CPB of 24:49, Maxine Dynes achieved a PB of 25:22, Judith Boyd attained a CPB of 25:29, Martin Conroy reached a PB of 25:39, Louise Barnes also achieved a PB of 25:40, and Glenn Campbell finished with a PB of 28:28. It's been reported that the cake and hospitality at Comber Parkrun are unparalleled, which may have motivated many runners to sprint towards the finish line.

Striding far and wide, 70 members of the club participated in Parkrun across 14 different venues. Rachel Boyle clocked in at 27:13 at Wallace Parkrun, while Diana Porter made her debut at Potternewton Parkrun with a time of 45:27. Jonathan Keenan set a personal best of 23:03 at Knockbracken Reservoir Parkrun, and Shannon Clegg finished as the third female at Stormont Parkrun with a time of 22:24. The Farrington family were out in force at Queens Parkrun, with Willow Farrington achieving a course personal best of 24:14, Heath Farrington finishing at 29:01, and Graeme Farrington also setting a CPB of 29:12. Additionally, Cameron McEwan (22:03) and Gordon McEwan (28:31) both made their first appearances at Queens Parkrun. The newest Parkrun to Northern Ireland, Montalto Estate Parkrun, had 5 striders attending. Among them was Karen Thompson who achieved a CPB (44:56) with her canine companion Lola.  

John Bingham made an impressive comeback from injury, achieving a personal best (PB) time of 33:45 at Bangor Parkrun. Belfast Victoria Parkrun proved to be a hotspot for PBs, with Michael Mitchell finishing at 22:23 and Sarah Luce achieving a PB of 26:30. Chris Edwards secured a course personal best (CPB) time of 28:00 at Ormeau Parkrun, while Carl Harris also attained a CPB of 28:49 at Crawfordsburn Country Parkrun.

Junior Parkrun on Sunday saw numerous Scrabo Striders in attendance, all achieving impressive personal bests. Willow Farrington claimed the 2nd spot among females at Bangor Junior Parkrun with a CPB time of 08:12, while Heath Farrington also secured a CPB of 09:22. Phoebe Coey achieved a PB of 10:21, and Harriet Frazer set a CPB of 12:32. Adam Haylett grabbed 2nd place at Comber Parkrun with a time of 09:02. Harry McCreedy finished 3rd at Musgrave Parkrun with a time of 08:21, accompanied by Calum McCready, who not only achieved a time of 11:36 but also completed his 21st Junior Parkrun, earning himself the green wristband for completing a marathon distance over 21 Junior Parkruns. Lastly, Olly Simpson showcased exceptional performance at Jordanstown Junior Parkrun with an astounding PB of 10:33, proudly representing the Scrabo Striders. However, the club applauds all members for getting out there and running their own race, setting their own pace.

Many club members generously volunteer their time at these events, and Scrabo Striders takes great pride in seeing their dedication. This week, the club want sto give a special shout out to Fiona McDonald for her volunteering efforts at Comber Parkrun. Thank you, Fiona!

Scrabo Striders consistently demonstrate their commitment to supporting fellow club members in their running endeavours, often leading the pack in fostering a supportive community. This includes actively encouraging and facilitating volunteers to pursue coaching qualifications. This week, the club celebrates the achievements of Coach Sheena Crone and Coach Louise Barnes, who have successfully completed their Athletic Coaches course. Together, they will spearhead the club's junior program, inspiring and guiding young athletes. Additionally, Abrar Hossain has attained the Coaches in Running Fitness qualification, marking a significant milestone in his journey to support the adult program at the highest level. These accomplishments add yet another dimension to the Scrabo Striders' impressive repertoire!

Running any race has many ups and downs, though not quite as many as the Hill and Dale Series.  Not for the faint-hearted, Ismail Karauzum covered 8km at Slieve Martin for the 3/10 Hill and Dale Series with an impressive time of 49:22.  Ismail is a fan of Ultra-Marathons and we look forward to seeing him excel at other such events.. 

As marathon training season draws to a close for many dedicated Striders, the much-anticipated Moy Park Belfast City Marathon looms on the horizon. Some will brave the full 26.2 miles, while others will join relay teams. Each Strider follows their unique training plan, tailored to their individual intensity and pace preferences. Many can attest to the fine training plans they have received from Norman Mawhinney who supports over 90 runners all over on their marathon plan.

One delightful aspect of belonging to an inclusive club like Scrabo Striders is the tradition of coming together for long runs. Typically held on Sundays, members gather for group runs along designated routes, followed by a well-deserved treat at Bow Bells. Among the club's own, Graeme McGowan will serve as a pacer for those aiming to finish in 4:45, showcasing the supportive spirit within the club. Graeme has also played a pivotal role in organising members to volunteer at the marathon's last mile, ensuring that every participant receives cheers of encouragement—a testament to the selflessness ingrained within Scrabo Striders.

As the club embarks upon a new month, the Club Captains and Vice Captains are setting a 4 week challenge for members.  These challenges are to add fun to the club, improve fitness and mental health.  The first challenge come from Vice Captain Matt Bell who is encouraging all members to post photographs of themselves running or walking beside water.  Plus Norman Mawhinney is posting a weekly strength and conditioning move to practice. Each strider who enters each challenge will be entered into a mysterious prize draw, whilst also promoting getting to know other club members and having fun.  The club wishes everybody best of legs for the upcoming marathon.

Scrabo Striders has training options four nights a week at Londonderry Park at 7.15pm, alongside social runs on Friday night 6.30pm and Sunday morning 9am from Conway Square. Please come along to any session and you will be made to feel very welcome. 

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