Packed Festive Season for Scrabo Striders

A busy Christmas and New Year period of running for members of Scrabo Striders kicked off on Christmas Day, with the first opportunity of the festive season to score a bonus Parkrun. 28 Striders completed the 5K, with the most popular location being Stormont, where Victoria Atkinson recorded a PB, Mark Halus recorded a course PB and Jason Lindsay ran the event for the first time. Elsewhere, Allie Farley and Liam Rodger attended Waterworks for the first time.

Next up on the 27th was the popular and much-anticipated Christmas Cracker in Castlewellan, organised by Newcastle AC. Scrabo Striders had representation across 31 two-person teams, many adorned in Christmas fancy dress as they completed the challenging (though by all accounts not quite as muddy as some previous years) nine mile course. First in for the club were David Stevenson and Thomas Steele in a time of 1:12:33. Shannon and Justin Clegg were the club’s first mixed team in 1:21:34, with Amanda Martin and Lynda Martin the first all-ladies team with Strider representation. Well done to all who took part!

New Year’s Eve brought the opportunity to complete a marathon for Norman Mawhinney who finished East Antrim Marathon Series’ event in a time of 3:34:47 – fantastic running.

The following day is was Mark Arnold’s turn to complete the same distance, again in an event organised by EAMS – the 6 hour challenge. Mark completed the marathon in 5:16:41.

New Year’s Day also presented Parkrunners with the second – and third – opportunity of the festive season to score some extra runs, with events across the UK coordinating to offer runners the opportunity to complete two events in succession. With attendance records being broken across Belfast and further afield, the most popular destination was Stormont, where 47 Striders took part among the whopping 776 total participants. Ricky Jordan recorded a new PB while Thomas Steele, David Parkinson and Erin Donnelly achieved course PBs. Justin Clegg and Caroline Smyth celebrated their 25th Parkruns while Faye and Eva Alexander and Cathy Dobbin attended the event for the first time. Elsewhere, Debbie Atkinson ran her 50th Parkrun at Orangefield where Linda Ingram and Jenna Lavery got course PBs, and at Waterworks, Connor and Lyla McNamara, Nicola McNamara and Liam Rodger also scored a course PB. Well done in particular to all those who ran the double header.

Opting for a more undulating start to the New Year, Fiona McAvoy was flying the Strider flag at Ballymena Runners’ Race Over the Glens in a time of 1:02:36.

More Parkruns, and more PBs came on Saturday 4th, with Thomas Steele, Colin Harper, Connor and Lyla McNamara, Greer Munday, David Parkinson and Jenna Lavery all besting their previous efforts, while Curtis McCaw claimed 2nd Place overall at Comber, and Kieran and Alice McNamara achieved a course PB at Orangefield. In Bangor, Riley Hanna completed his 10th event.

Saturday also saw the continuation of Born 2 Run’s Run Forest Run series, this time at Tollymore. Paul Sheldon was the first Strider home in the 10K event in a time of 46:46, with first lady Lesley Semple coming in on 51:21. In the 5K, the club’s first finisher was Angie Crone in 34:00.

Rounding out the week on Sunday were Ballygalget AC’s Run The Turkey Off 5 and 10K races, with Robin Adams completing the 5K event in 27:24, while in the 10K the first Strider over the line was Jason Lyndsay in 43:04, with first lady Sonya Summersgill coming in at 1:04:00.