Striders Weekly Update 12/06/2024

Posted: 12/6/2024

Weekend a Roaring Success for the Striders 8th Anniversary

By Karen Warnock

Welcoming the weekend with Aslan the Lion for the CS Lewis 5 Mile Challenge was something special for the fifty four Scrabo Striders that took part on Friday 7th June, with some admitting that the vibrant T-Shirt lured them to sign up! On the back of the t-shirt was emblazoned “Do not dare not to dare” and that’s exactly what the purple pack did.

Norman Mawhinney was the first male strider home with Colin Harper close on his heels with a 32:46 PB.  Graeme McGowan, Michel Warke and Michael Johnston all achieved sub 35 PBs, with Jenny Taylor the first female strider coming close behind them with a 35:42 PB. More PBs followed with sub 40 minutes for Chris Burns, George Johnston, Steven Hanna and Darren Johnston.  Ben McCracken made his debut race for the year along with many other brave course first timers.  Louise Barnes had a 42:17 PB alongside PBs for Karen Wilson, Karen Farrelly, Naomi Magowan, Karen Warnock, Natasha Graham and Janet Mowat.   Nicola Forsythe achieved a CPB of 51:34 followed closely by two PBs from Cheryl Alexander and Hugh Lyons. The 5 mile course started at the CS Lewis square in East Belfast, following the tow path out towards Victoria Park.  The race continued around Victoria Park on the outskirts and then the inner woodland area providing lots of variety of terrain and various levels of difficulty.  The event organisers provided much needed refreshments afterwards with a terrific atmosphere for all.  This annual event is one not to be missed next year and it sold out very quickly, as appears to be a recurring theme for most running events this year.   Lots of striders also turned up to support those running, to whom everybody was most grateful for and one other club commented on how Striders have the best support crew around.

Striders aren’t afraid of going it alone at times too and Ismail Karauzum did just that at the Hill and Dale Series in Loughshannagh, on Thursday 8th June with an impressive time of 57:04.  The low number of entrants indicates the tough race this is and we are delighted to see one of our own the event.

On Saturday evening, over 120 adults and juniors came together to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the club in the scenic grounds of Mount Stewart.  This popular annual event was organised by Paul Magee and Dawn Cudworth both long standing club members, supported by many volunteers from the club and beyond.  Many members have been with the club from the beginning, with equally many taking part in this annual event for the first time.  It is incredible to see the club go from strength to strength and the 4 mile anniversary race is a fitting way to celebrate eight years as a club.   The staff at Mount Stewart were very helpful and accommodating, we as a club would like to thank them for their continued partnership with the club for such events.  Mount Stewart sports beautiful grounds with various trail distances, owned by the National Trust.  Coming in first for the males was Vice Captain Matt Bell with 25.24, followed by Colin Harper 25.56 and Dave Stevenson 26:05.  The first female home was Jenny Taylor with 29:18, then Rachel Bell with 31:00 and Gayle Malaugh 33:40.  The juniors all competed in a 2k race, followed by hot dogs and another much sought after T-shirt.  One of the volunteers commented on how polite and well-mannered our juniors are, which was great to hear.

No weekend is complete without Parkrun, with which many from the club regularly volunteer at.  Volunteering at Parkrun is a great way to be involved in this community event, many opportunities await even for non-runners!  The club had 50 participants running in 7 venues, 6 runners trying out venues for the first time and 3 PBs.

Comber Parkrun was the most popular as it tends to be, with Andy Haylett achieving an impressive CPB of 18:47 and Maddie Dynes gaining a 29:49 PB.  Many supported Comber Parkrun as this is where our young male Member of the Month Olly Simpson choose to celebrate his 25th Parkrun.  Olly and his family are all involved in the club always showing their support for fellow striders.  Recently Olly designed a medal for our Run the Runways Race and he continues to impress his fellow club members with his determination in each event.  Olly enjoys races and parkruns – he ran his first Run the Runways in 2019 aged just 5 and is now up to 74 junior parkruns, with a parkrun PB of 29:29.

Stormont was also popular with Catherine Cauley being the 2nd Female in 21:26, along with Peter Doggarts PB 24:27. At Bangor Parkrun Cameron McEwan achieved a CPB of 20 minutes exactly! Georgia McGonigal travelled to the Fisherman’s Walk and bagged herself a PB too.  Junior Parkrun had 8 participants at Comber, Hamish Orr Stewart came 2nd and Keara Simpson was the 3rd female finisher.

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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