Run the Runways 2019

Posted: 16/5/2019

On Friday evening and in glorious sunshine Scrabo Striders Running Club held their second open race at Newtownards Airport. “Run the Runways” was an all abilities family event comprising a 1 kilometre Kids Fun Run and a 5km and 10km chip-timed race around the taxi ways and three runways of Newtownards Airfield. The novel location and totally flat personal best course drew some 500 runners and 120 kids plus supporters to the event.

This Kids Fun Run set off at 6:30 pm and was a simple loop out and back along the main runway, with all the children receiving the same stunning finishers’ medal as the adults. It was great to see so many kids taking part.

Curtis McCaw was the first of 57 Striders to finish the 5k race in a time of 17 minutes 26 seconds followed Norman Mawhinney in 18:30, Charlie Allen in 19:23 and Peter Hamlin in 19:47. Our first lady to finish was Catherine Cauley in 20:07 followed by Graeme McGowan in 20:09, Justin Clegg 20:57, Kurtis Hunter 21:06, Paul Sheldon 21:50, Emma Clements22:33 and Kerri Anderson in 22:46.

The following Scrabo Striders completed the home turf 5K in under 25 minutes namely Gary Clarke, Lynn Sheldon, George Cash, Rachel Patterson, Alison Busby, Victoria Atkinson, Aaron Blaine, Amanda Martin, Chris Green, Ian Bailie, Paula Steele and Liz Turton. In under 26 minutes came Julie Longridge, Ian Ferguson, Gayle Malaugh, Sheena Crone, Patrick McAllister, Carol Bailie and Matthew Halus while Gareth Clarke, Laura Scott, Bill McGucken, Mark Emerson, Vanessa Mannis, Jennifer Couper, Nicola Honeyman, Sonya Summersgill, Rebekah Smith, Eileen Pollock and Greer Munday.

With simply too many names too mention the final 5K Scrabo finishers could by now smell the hot dogs as Clare McCormick finished on exactly 37 minutes followed by Lynn McGonigal in 37:33 taking 3 minutes off last year’s time, then Kelly Houston in 41:07 and Mariead Curran in 41:24. With such a flat course on an almost winless evening dozens of new personal best times were achieved. Thank you all for representing your Club so well!

However the event was not over yet, as many did a U turn and headed back out around the airfield for a second loop to complete the 10K. Ricky Jordan was the first Strider to finish in a fantastic time of 37 minutes 4 seconds (nearly 3 ½ minutes faster than last year) followed by Johnny Wray in 39:06, Thomas Steele 40:23, Jason Lindsay 41:02, Peter Kerr 41:08, David Parkinson 41:41, Laurence Irwin 41:48, David Stevenson 42:05, Manny Farrelly 42:41, Andy Boal 43:21 and Abrar Hossain in 43:43. Great times.

Scrabo Strider’s first lady to finish the 10K was Tina Boal in 43:43 taking nearly 4 minutes off last year followed seconds later by Connor McNamara 43:59, Stephen McConnell 44:16, Peter McGonigal 44:31 and Olli Seeger in 45:59. Next came Gordon Coutts, Christopher Murdock, Marty McConnell, Mark Halus, Johnnie Harvey, Deborah Wilson, John Brown, Barbara McKechnie, Mark Leathem, David Turton, Peter Briggs and Paul Blair all of whom finished in under 49 minutes.

With sunglasses on the middle of the Scrabo bunch completed in under 53 minutes namely Stuart Blair, Ben Stocks, Duncan McAllister, Stephen Ballagh, Ronnie Geddis, Linda Dugan, Jo Tate, Steven McCormick, Paul Kirkwood, Amanda Piesse and George McGonigal. With simply too many to mention the final Scrabo finishers were Nikki Keery, Louise Stephenson, Christine Kirkwood, Rhonda Magowan, Susanne McVea, Liam Rodger and Lynda Croskery. Congratulations to all who took part.

Scrabo Striders Committee would like to give a big thanks to the airfield owners, The Ulster Flying Club. Without their kind permission and enthusiastic assistance this fantastic event would simply not have been possible. Also a big thanks to our sponsors Ardent Dental Care, Colin Adams Motorparts, Danske Bank and Ards Brake & Clutch Service Centre and to the small army of people who made the event happen.

In other running news the Hill & Dale Series continued with the Donard Race, where competitors start in Newcastle town and ascend and descend Slieve Donard as fast as possible. First for Scrabo was James Lappin in an amazing 1 hour 9 minutes followed by Kieran McNamara in 1:32 and Mark Emerson in 2:23. This event covers a distance of 10km and a climb of 850 metres.

Also at the weekend Norman Mawhinney completed the “We Run Wild NI” Hills and Trails which is 26.2 miles climbing 2500 feet, with no marshals on the course, no arrows to guide, simply a map and a list of instructions. This was Norman’s 3rd marathon in a week. Impressive.

By George McGonigal, Vice-Chair

Scrabo Striders at Runways 2019.jpg

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