Gale Force Striding

Posted: 19/4/2019

Last weekend the wind was the feature of the weather most talked about and it made for challenging conditions at many running events taking place across the Province. None more so that the exposed shores of Belfast Harbour Estate, where 30 athletes from local running club Scrabo Striders took park in the MS Society Run for Research runs sponsored by Subway.

The 10K race comprised one circuit commencing at Subway, Holywood Exchange out past Sainsburys and into Belfast Harbour Estate along Heron Road, down towards Shorts and then back along the never-ending straight of Airport Road West. Curtis McCaw took overall 2nd place in a field of 150 runners completing in a time of seconds over 36 minutes. Impressive.

Johnny Wray was next in for Scrabo in 41:57 taking overall 17th followed by Justin Clegg in 45:26, Lesley Semple 47:25, two seconds later Andrew Strickland then Paul Morrow in a few seconds under 50 minutes. Gary Clarke was next in 50:10 followed by Julie-Anne Andrews recording a personal best of 57:22. Also finishing the totally flat race were Greer Munday, Steven Craythorne, Michele Ennis, Denise Nodder with a new personal best, Joanne Wray, Karen Clarke and Donna Dugan.

Battling the 20 miles per hour headwind along the waters-edge for a second time the brave half marathon runners had to face two loops of the course, with the wind picking up as legs were tiring. First in for Scrabo was Ricky Jordan in an amazon 1 hour 23 minutes, claiming overall 10th place in a field of 250 entrants. Next came Graeme McGowan and Peter Hamlin seconds apart in 1 hour 38, giving Peter a new personal best (PB).

Garry Cavill was next in 1:49 followed by Barbara McKechnie in 1:50, Kurtis Hunter, Mark Halus and Emma Clements (PB) together in 1:55 and Caroline Smyth in 1:59 to secure ger first sun two-hour half marathon. Next were George McGonigal, Sheena Crone and Dawn Ross in 2:03 with George and Sheena recording PBs, followed by Lyndsey Blair with another PB of 2:05 and Fiona McAvoy and Phillippa Wilson in 2:10. Well done all.

The Glenarm Castle Challenge took place last Saturday. Organised by Born 2 Run events this popular event offers entrants the choice between of a half marathon, 10k, 5K and walk to take part in. Scrabo Strider Steve McCormick completed the half marathon in 2 hours 6 minutes followed by Cheryl Mulholland, Alison Busby and Amanda Martin all battling the wind to cross the line in 2:10.

In the 10K race Jonathan Keenan was the first Strider to finish in 57 minutes 34 seconds followed by Leanne Butler, Rebecca Lund, Susanne McVea and Rhonda Magowan. In the 5K event Christine Lougheed finished in 37:09 followed by Erin Donnelly and Kim Cochrane.

Newcastle Athletics Club’s Hill and Dale Series resumed through the week, with the first race taking place in Castlewellan. Six Scrabo Striders competed in the 4.6 mile 1100 ft climb race with James Lappin first to finish for the Club in 36 minutes 36 seconds followed by Kieran McNamara in 44:16, Stephen Gargan in 44:46, Kerri Anderson 50:41, Fiona McAvoy 54:02 and Cheryl Alexander in 1 hour 11 minutes.

Travelling south twice in one week Norman Mawhinney took 1st place M60 category in the Dundalk 10K road race on Wednesday night, overall 37th place in a time of 38:42, while on Sunday’s Great Ireland Run in Dublin he covered the 10km distance in 39:18. Great performance. Congratulations to Curtis McCaw taking 1st place at Comber Parkrun in a blistering time of 17 minutes 46 seconds!

Scrabo Striders have appointed new Captains and Vice-Captains whose role is to encourage and support the membership throughout the year. For the ladies this is Captain Lynn Sheldon with the vice role performed by Kerri Anderson and for the gents the Captain is Colin Harper with Connor McNamara as vice. The committee wishes you all well for the work ahead.

by George McGonigal

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