Striding Far and Wide

Posted: 26/7/2019

The Portaferry 10 Mile Road Race took place on the evening of Tuesday 16th July in dry and very warm conditions. This increasingly popular local race formed part of the week-long Portaferry Gala Festival which offered a gently undulating but challenging course for recreational and elite runners alike. There was also a 5 mile relay race for teams of two runners. In the relay Charlie Allen Snr and Charlie Allen Junior completed the distance in a great time of one hour 19 minutes despite Charlie Jnr, the race’s only wheelchair entrant, getting a flat tyre on mile three! He pushed on like it hadn’t happened, well done.

Local running club Scrabo Striders had 28 entrants in their distinctive purple vests with first across the line Thomas Steele completing in 1 hour 7 minutes, followed in 01:08:52 by Jonny Kinney and third for Striders Jason Lindsey in 01:11:14. Next came Graeme McGowan in 01:14:29, Colin Harper 01:15:17, Manny Farrelly 01:15:18 and David Turton in 01:21:29.

In the ladies race the first Scrabo finisher was Lesley Semple in 01:22:12 , then Liz Turton in 01:26:56, Fiona McAvoy 01:30:40, Leanne Campbell 01:31:01, Amanda Martin 01:31:04 and Lia Campbell in 01:32:23. Robin Adams picked up 1st place in the Male Veteran 65 category in a time of 01:33:42, congratulations.

Also completing the ten miles were Paul Morrow, Johnnie Hrvey, John Brown, Russell Armour, Ally Gray, George McGonigal, Amanda Piesse, Dawn Ross, Sheena Crone, Karl Henderson, Ross Caughers, Wendy Thompson, Linda Adams and Hector Adair. Well done all. There was lots of support in Portaferry town centre, not least from the local pub as well as along the route, contributing to a great atmosphere and a great evenings running.

On Friday evening, 19th July, a coach load of Scrabo Striders took on the extremely tough but very scenic 2019 Sea to Sky Challenge. Scenic when the clouds haven’t descended with thunder and lightning. The race boast an awesome mix of road and trail and the runners climbed out of Newcastle into the foothills of the Mourne Mountains.

Rachel Patterson was the first Scrabo Strider to finish the 5K race in 1 time of 27 minutes 56 seconds, followed by Karl Henderson in 28:03, Jenny Taylor 29:26, Alison Busby 29:34, Aaron Blaine in 32:50 followed by mum Beverley in 33:19 and Jacqueline Bell in 34:57. Completing in under 40 minutes were Lynsey Wightman, Catherine Dobbin and Cheryl Alexander and in under 50 minutes Erin Donnelly and Karen Thompson.

With a huge turnout the trails were jammed solid at a few locations gibing time to enjoy the lightning! Rachel Murdock chose this particularly challenging 5K to make her return to the sport after a period of injury, very brave. Other Striders finishing were Lynda Croskery, Allie Farley, Kim Cochrane, Susanne McVea, Clare McCormick, Debi Allen and Alison Rodgers.

Despite having put ten miles in the legs at Portaferry, Jonny Kinney and Thomas Steele were first and second Striders across the line At the Sea to Sky 10K in times of 43:19 and 43:47 respectively, followed by Laurence Irwin in 46:04 and the Club’s first lady across Catherine Cauley in 47:52. First Strider in the M50 class was Peter McGonigal in 48:26, the M60 class Mervyn Kinney in seconds over the hour, F40 Lesley Semple 52:38 and in the F55 category Linda Dugan in 4 seconds over the hour. A total of 48 members finished, the biggest club turnout for this event so far.

The first race in the Ultimate Ultra series took place at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast over the weekend. Scrabo Striders are very pleased to report that Graeme McGowan won the 50km event in a time of 5 hours 33 minutes 29 seconds. Congratulations. Meanwhile Norman Mawhinney was placed 42nd at the Blaney Rockets 10 Mile in a time of 01:09:21 followed by Mark Arnold 136th in 01:22:23, in a field of 317 competitors. Well don gents.

At the ever popular Saturday morning Parkruns Curtis McCaw took 1st place in Comber in a fantastic time of 18 minutes 24 seconds, where Johnnie Harvey, Nicola Cameron and Inge Ferguson recorded personal best (PB) times and Bobby McGonigal completed his first ever Parkrun in 31:59. Lynda Croskery grabbed a PB at Ward Park in Bangor.

by George McGonigal, Vice-Chair

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