Downpatrick Turns Purple!

Posted: 24/3/2019

On St. Patrick’s Day the annual Jimmy’s 10K road race and relay took place in Downpatrick, hosted by East Down Athletic Club. This very popular race saw some 900 runners follow a course uphill and around the Cathedral then out of town to the River Quoile toe-path, flooded in multiple places so soaked feet for everyone. Then back to the town finishing on the Ballydugan Road, with lots of cheering support along the way.

Newtownards based running club Scrabo Striders has 126 athletes taking part, the single biggest display of #purplepower at a road race since the Club formed. Indeed two coaches were hired to get us all there. First to finish for Scrabo was Curtis McCaw completing the distance in 36 minutes 21 seconds taking overall 30th place followed by Matthew Carville 41st in 37:32, Ricky Jordan 47th in 37:58, Norman Mawhinney 55th in 38:30 and Johnny Wray 97th in 41:30.

Next in for the Club was Jonny Kinney in 41:37 followed by Ian Frazer 41:47, John Pugh 42:44, Graeme McGowan 43:03, Peter Stevens 43:39, Andrew Campbell 43:41 and Peter McGonigal in 44:11.

The wind and rain of earlier had given way to sunshine just as the race started, so the only water to deal with came from the river. Not letting this put her off Tina Boal was the first lady in for Scrabo in an impressive 44:21, followed in the ladies race by Lesley Semple in 45:56, Deborah Wilson 48:29, Barbara McKechnie 48:48, Lynn Sheldon 49:50, Cheryl Mulholland 49:55, Emma Clements 50:47, Leanne Campbell 51:25, Caroline Smyth in 52:42, Amanda Piesse 52:47 and Rachel Patterson in 52:58.

Running their first competitive 10K race were young Aaron Blaine, Stuart Blair and Stephen Ballagh, while personal best times improved by 2 seconds all the way up to 3 minutes were achieved by Ricky Jordan, Paul Blair, Peter Stevens, Alison Rodgers and Beverley Blaine.

PBs were also recorded by Emma Clements, Tina Boal, Kurtis Hunter, Lesley Semple, Clare Briggs, Allie Farley, Joanne Wray, Ashely Gilliland, Greer Munday, Sheena Crone, Peter Briggs, Marty McConnell, Paul Blair, Jenny Gargan and Nicola Forsythe.

Worth of specific mention is that fact that Lyndsey Blair shaved a massive 6 minutes 41 seconds off her best ever 10K time showing just what Scrabo Strider training can do!

At the weekly Saturday morning Parkruns our ladies did the Club proud, with Amanda Piesse and Amanda Martin taking 2nd and 3rd female in Comber, in times of 26:57 and 27:35 for the 5km distance.

At Scrabo Striders recent Annual General Meeting the Club’s well-respected Chair Hannah Robinson stood down. Hannah’s tenure began the day the Club was formed and under her wise and enthusiastic leadership Striders has grown from a handful of runners to nearly 300 members, while maintaining an all abilities ethos and bringing several very successful new open races to the calendar. The committee, coaches and membership would like to thank Hannah for all she has done for the Club. Fiona McAvoy was voted in as our new Chairperson and we all wish her well. 

by George McGonigal

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