Striders Weekly Update 19/06/2024

Posted: 19/6/2024

Thursday evening saw the continuation of The Hill and Dale fell running series with race 9 of 10 – Meels. Bad weather leading up to the event meant the course needed to be shortened to 6km, but still presented a formidable challenge. Scrabo Strider Ismail Karauzum continued his impressive performance in the series so far, clinching 3rd place in the M50 category in a time of 50:20.

Also on Thursday evening was the return of the Fairhill 5 mile race after 3 years off the running calendar, hosted by Ballymena Runners. With a course encompassing some of the town centre as well as the Ecos Millenium Park on offer for the field of over 350 runners, the race saw lone Strider Karen Collins cross the line in 44:05.

Friday evening saw a contingent of Striders travel to Downpatrick for the popular County Down 5km races in the town centre. Comprising 7 and a half laps of a flat and fast loop, and with races segregated by expected finish time, the evening promised friendly competition and PB potential.

In the first race of the evening for the 30 minutes plus category, Georgia McGonigal crossed the line 27 seconds under the race’s expected finish time in 29:33, 3rd female finisher and claimed a PB in the process.  Next up was the 22-30 minute race, which saw Jenny Taylor 2nd female across the line in 21:33, followed by Willow Farrington in 23:31, Graeme Farrington (24:52), Karen Wilson (26:09), Sarah Luce (26:11), Karen Farrelly (27:16) and Chris Edwards in 27:55.

The final race of the evening was the 17-22 minute event, where Norman Mawhinney was the first club member over the line in 18:45, followed by Michael Warke with a PB of 19:29, Colin Harper (19:41), Luke Braniff (20:31) and Jordan McIntyre in 20:56.

Setting off on Saturday for the gruelling Spine Montaine Summer Challenger South was Joanne McCandless. Taking on 108 miles of mountainous terrain along the Pennine Way from Edale, Derbyshire to Hardraw, North Yorkshire, clocking up a total ascent of 5451 metres. Joanne finished the route in 56 hours, 22 minutes and 20 seconds; an incredible feat!

Also opting for Ultra distances this weekend, though on the significantly flatter and slightly less picturesque surroundings of Victoria Park in Belfast were Maxine Dynes and Graeme McGowan, both participating in races as part of the Belfast 24 Hour event organised by Atlas Running. With both Striders clocking up loops of the park, each of just over a mile, Maxine finished the 50km race in 6:12:27 whereas Graeme, running in the 24 Hour category, went on to complete 72.86 miles representing a distance PB – congratulations to both!

Joining the Scrabo Striders Coaching Team in an official capacity this week were Paul Blair and Craig Simpson, who both completed their Coaching Assistant courses on Sunday, qualifying them to help with the Club’s busy Juniors programme – well done to both these excellent additions to the team!

Parkrun remained popular as ever on Saturday, with almost 70 members travelling to 6 venues. Most popular this week was Comber, where overall parkrun PBs were recorded by Joe Brown, Rachel Brown, Sharon Murdoch and Victoria Graham. Elsewhere, overall PBs were achieved by Trevor Woodside on his first time at Stormont and Matthew Stevenson at Bangor, where Chris Millar celebrated his 50th milestone parkrun. Also celebrating a milestone this were Heath Farrington, claiming his 25th at Stormont, and Stephen Herron, also his 25th, at Navan.

Sunday morning saw the club’s junior members take to junior parkrun as usual, with Comber the most popular venue. Liam Robinson was first member over the line followed by Joshua Bingham, Keara Simpson, Elijah Ferguson, Calum McCready with a PB, Olly Simpson, Lydia Blair, Michael Bingham, Lyla Rose McNamara, Jack Robinson, Nathaniel Frazer and Harriet Frazer.

Meanwhile at nearby Lough Moss junior parkrun, there were a string of accolades from Luke Braniff (1st place), Willow Farrington (2nd female), Rory Braniff (CPB and 3rd male) and Heath Farrington (CPB).

Entries continue to sell well for Scrabo Striders’ two remaining open race events this season – the first being Run The Trails at Mount Stewart on Saturday 3rd August. Offering a 2km Junior Race as well as 5km, 10km and half marathon distances, there’s something on offer for the whole family in this unique event around a stunning location. With the usual Strider hospitality on offer afterwards it’s sure to be a great evening.

Then on Friday 6th September it’s back to road running for the Ards 5 Mile Challenge, with a course extending from Londonderry Park in Newtownards, down Portaferry Road before heading inland towards Loughries and returning via Bowtown Road.

Both events are open and accepting entries now – be sure to get registered soon to avoid disappointment.

Scrabo Striders is a friendly and welcoming running club where runners of all abilities train together in group sessions. Offering up to 4 training nights every week, as well as social runs on Friday evening, Sunday morning and Sunday evening trails, there’s something to suit everyone, and the training and encouragement you need to progress or maintain your fitness. Why not come along and try a few sessions free of charge to see if it might be what you’ve been looking for?

For more information on membership or our open races, see or search for Scrabo Striders on Facebook.


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