Striders Weekly Update 15/05/2024

Posted: 15/5/2024

Striders ready for take-off!

Friday night was memorable for two reasons, one being the beautiful Northern Lights display over Northern Ireland which you may or may not have seen, and the second, but most important reason was that it was the annual Scrabo Striders Run the Runways event at Newtownards Airfield!

Over 150 Striders entered the event and ran the fast and flat course on what can only be described as a scorcher of an evening. There were three races being the 2k, 5k and 10k and every participant received a medal designed by our own Scrabo Striders Fundamental member Olly Simpson depicting an image of a runner on the runway with a helicopter overhead.

In the 2k Race we had a number of junior striders taking part, Hamish Orr Stewart finished in 6th place with a time of 07:55, followed by Joshua Bingham in 9th Place with 08:13.

In the 5k Race we had James Cole -Boyle finish 3rd place in the M35 Category with a time of 19:53. This was followed by Alison Busby who finished 2nd place in the F40 Category with a time of 22:42 and Trevor Woodside finished 3rd place in the M40 Category with a time of 19:04.  In the M45 Category was had Gareth Davies finish 1st with a time of 18:56, followed by Francis Gilmore in 3rd place with a time of 20:59. In the M50 category we had Manny Farrelly finish 2nd place with a time of 21:15.  Finally in the M55 Category we had Jenny Taylor finish 2nd with a time of 21:25 and George Johnston finish 2nd and Gary Clarke 3rd place with times of both 22:11 and 24:00. Exceptional running everyone!!

In the 10k race, which was two loops of the course, we had Kris Williams finish as first male junior with a time of 53:56 and Susan Dalzell finish as first female junior with 58:58. Karen Collins then finished 2nd in the F45 category with a time of 53:38, followed by Karen Wilson with a time of 56:06 in 3rd place.  In the M45 category we had Michael Johnston finish 3rd place with a time of 40:57. In the M65 category our own legend Norman Mawhinney finished first place with a time of 38:32, adding another achievement to his repertoire.

There are literally too many achievements in both Personal Bests and Course Personal Best to mention but some who achieved these were Michael Johnston, Faye Alexander, Cathie Lowry, James Cole-Boyle, Rory Braniff, Luke Braniff, Amy Braniff , Gillian Kerr, Karen Wilson,  Darren Johnston, Natasha Graham,  Jenna Lavery, Michael Warke,  Lyndsey Blair, Chris Burns,  Colin Harper, Emma Stewart, Jenny Taylor, Karen Warnock, Jennifer McAteer, Michael Burgess, Martin Conroy, Sonya Summersgill, Lynn McGonigal and many more!

Special note of thanks to all who organised this race, including Ulster Flying club who let us use their runways, our volunteers who both marshalled and catered at the event and to our sponsors which included U Hire NI for their support.

Saturday then saw solo Strider Ismail Karauzum take on the Slieve Donard Sumit  as part of the Hill and Dale Series in a time of 56:02. The Hill and Dale series, organised by Newcastle Athletics Club,  started 40 years ago and consists of 10 races with runners completing 6 races to qualify for a series prize.  Well done Ismail on adding another race to your belt!

Saturday also meant Park Run and we had 49 Striders out at 9 venues.  The most popular location was Stormont parkrun with 14 club members taking part. Sharon Gamble celebrated her 25th Park Run here with a time of 45:25. Olly Simpson, Lydia Blair and our ladies captain Lyndsey Blair took on the course for the first time.  At Crawfordsburn we had Alison Shanks take on the course for the first time also.  Karen Wilson and Chris Edwards took on Citypark Parkrun for the first time and Graeme also visited Ormeau Parkrun! And at Montalto Estate we had 12 Striders taking part for the first time on the beautiful but hilly course! Well done to all!

On Sunday Amanda Martin ran the Oxford 10k in a time of 57:46 . This run started out in 1982 by local runners as a fun run to raise funds for charity and still to this day all profits from the race go to Muscular Dystrophy UK. Brilliant running Amanda!

Also running on Sunday was Graeme McGowan, who was our solo strider who ran alongside 14,000 runners and completed the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon with a time of 4:18:42. This marathon leads runners around the streets of Leeds taking in some of the city’s beautiful scenery and countryside, and even more importantly is in support of the Rob Burrow Centre for Motor Neurone Disease. Well done, Graeme!

Sunday Morning was time for Junior Park Run. The club had 14 participants running at 2 venues. The most popular was Comber with 9 runners taking part. Harry McCready finished in 3rd place with a time of 08:13 and Penelope Davies got a Personal Best with a time of 10:41! Over at Bangor Park Run we had Luke Braniff finish in 3rd place with a time of 8:10, and Rory Braniff got a Course Personal Best with 09:11. Finally Willow Farrington finished as 3rd female with a time of 08:28.

Scrabo Striders meet every week for various training sessions, details can be found on our website and Facebook page. Friday night and Sunday morning social runs are also available for all to try. Why not come along and give it a try?

By Naomi Fleming


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