Rain…We Run in the Face of Rain

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By Ian Frazer, Striders Juniors @ Bobby Rea XC

Extremely wet, windy and cold conditions on Saturday didn’t deter members of Scrabo Striders from getting out and representing the club at various events.

First up was the Run to Remember in Ballynahinch, organised by Atlas Running on behalf of the Royal British Legion. The 5-kilometre run incorporating a route to the east of the town centre is organised annually to mark Remembrance Day, with finishers being awarded with a poppy-shaped medal.

First in for the club and claiming 5th place overall was Jason Lindsay in a time of 21:03. In second place was Graeme McGowan in 23:06, followed by Paul Sheldon in 25:01. Next in were Marty McConnell and Gary Clarke followed by the club’s first lady finisher Victoria Atkinson neck and neck with Olli Seeger both on 26:05. Lynn Sheldon on 26:36 and Emma Clements on 27:17 completed the ladies’ top 3.

Crossing the line in under 28 minutes were Matthew Halus, Mark Halus and Andrea Thompson, with Tim McEwan and Charles & Charlie Allen following closely behind in under 29 minutes. Next in were Kelly Houston, Stephen Campbell, Lindsey Allen, David Rainey, Mark Gilmore, Lynsey Wightman, Karen Clarke and Debi Allen.  Well done to all who ran in challenging conditions.

Also unstopped by the weather, the winter Cross Country season continued on Saturday with the NI & Ulster Uneven Age Group Championships and Bobby Rea Cup at Billy Neill playing fields in Comber.

First up to brave the truly waterlogged course were the club’s junior members, competing in their respective age groups. Well done to Holly Scott, Faye Alexander, Leah Butler, Aoife Collins, Isabella Harper, Eva Alexander, Lexie Brown, Ollie Hanna, Ethan Lappin, Harry Montgomery, Olivia Smyth, Saoirse Collins, Aaron Blaine, Riley Hanna and Anton Lupari for representing the club so well.

Next on the agenda was the ladies’ race which covered 3 laps of the 2-kilometre circuit, with Lynn Sheldon the first finisher for the club in a time of 29:36, with legs obviously still fresh from the Run to Remember earlier in the day. Lynn was closely followed by Liz Turton in 29:59 and Fiona McAvoy in 30:21. Caroline Smyth and Dawn Ross also crossed the line in under 31 minutes, followed by Sheena Crone, Linda Dugan, Lyndsey Lappin, Sonya Summersgill and Phillippa Wilson.  With the weather being so bad that it started affecting the race timing equipment, results for the rest of the club’s ladies are still pending, but well done to Karen Thompson, Catherine Dobbin, Rebecca Lund, Cheryl Alexander, Claire Briggs, Maria Page, Elaine McGonigal, Kim Cochrane and Judith Boyd for earning the club points in the league.

Alongside the ladies’ race was the men’s Veteran class, where Norman Mawhinney comfortably claimed first place overall in a time of 22:31.

Rounding out the day was the men’s seniors and masters race; a 4 lap, 8-kilometre slog over the now well churned up course. Official times were again affected by the rain-sodden timing equipment and are still awaiting confirmation at the time of going to press but the club’s first finisher was James Lappin, followed by Thomas Steele and Dave Parkinson. Peter Stevens was next across the line, with Graeme McGowan being the club’s second runner to complete both the Run to Remember and the XC. Next in were Abrar Hossain, Colin Harper and Ben Stocks, closely followed by John Brown and Peter McGonigal. The third Strider of the day completing the double header was Marty McConnell, followed across the line by Andy Boal, George McGonigal, Karl Henderson and Bill McGuckan.

Striders Gents @ Bobby Rea XC

It wouldn’t be a Saturday without the regular Parkruns and it takes more than torrential rain to stop them! Running at Victoria Park were Mark Leathem, Stephen Ballagh, John Neill, Erin Donnelly, and Patricia Adams, with it being Stephen and Erin’s first time at the venue, and Patricia in a volunteer role as tail walker.

Across the city in Ormeau Park, Jonathan Winter achieved a course PB, while in Castle Park in Bangor, Ian and Carol Bailie were the club’s first male and female finishers, followed by Liz Turton before she headed to Ballynahinch for the aforementioned Run to Remember. Also completing Bangor were Gavin McDonnell, Wendy Thompson and Leanne Hanna.

Finally in Comber, both Mark Halus and Tim McEwan completed the 5 kilometres before heading to Ballynahinch for Run to Remember.

Huge congratulations to all who braved the horrible weather, especially those who decided that once wasn’t enough!

Striders @ Run to remember, Ballynahinch