Lurgan XC, Run The Trails Night Edition

Posted: 1/3/2019

On the evening of Friday 22nd February Scrabo Striders Running Club held their first ever open 10K night race at Mount Stewart. “Run The Trails Night Edition” as it was billed comprised a two lap 10km chip-timed race around the beautiful forest trails and lake of the estate, starting and finishing in front of the iconic Mount Stewart House. Not that there was much to see by headlamp deep in the forest.

The novel location drew just under 200 competitors and plenty of supporters to the event, blessed with cloudy and mild conditions. Setting off at 7pm to cheers of support and music playing, the herd soon thinned as marshals guided the runners around a challenging circuit containing some sustained hills.

The winner was Curtis McCaw from Scrabo Striders Running Club in an impressive time of 38 minutes 42 seconds, followed in second place by Jonathan Gibson in 39:20 with 3rd place being claimed by Scrabo Striders’ very own Matthew Carville in 39:35, with the club’s Ricky Jordan in 4th on 39:39. In the ladies race Karen Wilton from Jog Lisburn crossed the line in 39:44 to claim first place followed by Kerry Speers of North Down AC in 40:43, with 3rd place going to Clair Quigley, also NDAC in 43:26.

Hosts Scrabo Striders had 63 athletes entered. Coming in fourth for the club was David Stevenson in 41:18, followed by Ian Frazer 43:20 and Peter Kerr in 43:22. First Scrabo lady was Lesley Semple in 52:35, second Kerri Anderson 52:48 and third Emma Clements in 53 minutes exactly, while others made this their first ever night-time trail run. Well done all! Scrabo Striders committee would like to thank Gary Hunsdale and Chris Stephenson and their team for superb organisation and management of this event.

The last race of the 2018-19 NI Cross Country season took place in Lurgan Park on Saturday. A coach load of Scrabo Striders headed down to the event to get double points for their Club. In the men’s 12 km race Ricky Jordan was the first Strider to finish in 51:18 followed by Norman Mawhinney in 53:58 and John Pugh in 59:16.

In seconds over the hour were Graeme McGowan and Peter McGonigal followed by Abrar Hossain, Andy Boal and Johnny Wray who bravely battled injury to finish in 1 hour 6 minutes, as did Chris Green. Also competing were Charlie Allen, David Turton, Peter Briggs, Michael Brown, Marty McConnell and Mark Gilmore.

Described as tough conditions didn’t deter Scrabo Striders ladies. First to complete the 6km course was Barbara McKechnie in 28 minutes 37 seconds followed by Kerri Anderson in 30:35, Liz Turton 30:39, Fiona McAvoy 32:18, Sheena Crone 32:42, Linda Dugan 33:12 and Amanda Piesse in 33:43.

Finishing in under 35 minutes were Dawn Ross and Phillippa Wilson and in under 38 minutes Sonya Summersgill and Kathy Henderson.

Gillian Pearson chose to make her first race as a Scrabo Strider this cross-country and produced an excellent time of 40:09, followed by Hannah Robinson in 45:53 and Debi Allen in 45:54. Well done girls!

On Saturday 23rd Scrabo Striders headed to the woods for the last race in the Belfast Telegraph’s Run Forest Run series, organized by Born 2 Run Events. The venue was Castlewellan with the event starting and finishing at the majestic lakeside castle. There was a buzzing atmosphere as competitors who completed 6 of the 8 races received their “Forest Finisher” tee shirts, while those who completed all 8 races through the season received a special medal.

In the 5K race Ian Edwards was the first Strider to finish in a solid 27:43 followed by Nikki Keery in 32:49. A second behind came Rebecca Lund followed by Rex McCormick, Christine Lougheed, Kim Cochrane and Mariead Curran. First Strider to complete the 10K was Laura Cooke in 1 hour 3 minutes followed by Steven McCormick and Angie Crone in 1:07, then Susanne McVea and Rhonda Magowan. Congratulations to those who completed this very popular series.

by George McGonigal

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