XC and Mount Stewart Trails at Night – Scrabo News

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On the evening of Friday 21 February Scrabo Striders Running Club held their second open 10K night race at Mount Stewart. “Run The Trails Night Edition” as it was billed comprised a two lap 10km chip-timed race around the beautiful forest trails and lake of the estate, starting and finishing in front of the iconic Mount Stewart House. Not that there was much to see by headlamp deep in the forest.

The novel location drew just over 130 competitors and plenty of supporters to the event, in breezy and tough conditions. Setting off at 7pm to cheers of support and music playing, the herd soon thinned as marshals guided the runners around a challenging circuit containing some sustained hills.

The winner was Jared Martin from Ballydrain Harriers in an impressive time of 40 minutes 39 seconds, followed in second place by Don Travers in 41:33 with 3 place being claimed by Jonathan Gibson in 42:10. In the ladies race Clair Quigley from North Down Athletic Club took 1 place in 46:45 (having been 3 last year) followed in 2place by Lisa Corry from Saintfield Striders in 47:01 and Jenny McCready 3 in 49:39.

Hosts Scrabo Striders had 35 athletes entered. First for the club was Ricky Jordan in 43:13 followed by Tim McEwan in 49:14, Jonny Kinney 49:16, Connor McNamara 50:19, Graeme McGowan 50:51 and Matthew Cavill in 51:11. The club’s first lady was Andrea Thompson in 01:00:44 followed by Emma Clements in 01:01:07 then Leanne Campbell, Amanda Martin, Sonya Summersgill, Judith Boyd, Carol Graham, Natasha Graham and Tina Hewitt. For some this was their first ever night-time trail run. Well done all!

The last race of the 2019-2020 NI Cross Country season took place in Coleraine on Saturday. A coach load of Scrabo Striders headed to the NI & Ulster Senior Cross Country Championships to get double points for their Club. In the men’s 12 km race Norman Mawhinney was the first Strider to finish in 01:01:57 followed by Graeme McGowan in 01:02:39 and Ian Frazer in 01:05:14.

Next across the line was Abrar Hossain in 01:07:01 followed by Olli Seeger 01:10:12, Marty McConnell, John Brown, Colin Harper, Karl Henderson, peter Briggs, Chris Green, Robin Adams and Stephen Campbell.

Described as tough conditions didn’t deter Scrabo Striders ladies. First to complete the 6km course was Barbara McKechnie in 33 minutes 25 seconds followed by Fiona McAvoy in 35:36, Amanda Martin in 36:34, Liz Turton 36:50, Dawn Ross 36:58, Sheena Crone 37:57 and Martina Finn in 39:20. In just over the 40 minute mark came Linda Dugan, Phillippa Wilson, Claire Briggs and Sonya Summersgill followed by Emma McCracken, Karen Thompson, Cheryl Alexander and Kelly Houston. Well done ladies!

On Saturday 22 Scrabo Striders headed to the woods for the last race in the Belfast Telegraph’s Run Forest Run series, organized by Born 2 Run Events. The venue was Castlewellan with the event starting and finishing at the majestic lakeside castle. There was a buzzing atmosphere as competitors who completed 6 of the 8 races received their “Forest Finisher” tee shirts, while those who completed all 8 races through the season received a special medal.

In the 5K race Kim Cochrane was the first Scrabo runner to finish in 36:26 followed by Clare McCormick in 38:25, Susanne McVea, Alison Rodgers, Mariead Curran, Tina Hewitt and Erin Donnelly. In the 10K race Paul Morrow and Lesley Semple were the first Striders across, finishing simultaneously in 52:48 followed by Paul McKnight in 53:22, Andrea Thompson 56:58, Richard Murray 57:50, Davy Gordon 58:54 then Steven McCormick in 59:01, Ken Rodgers 59:32 then Angie Crone 01:12:17 and Rhonda Magowan in 01:19:51. Congratulations to those who completed this very popular series.

At the Saturday morning Parkruns Curtis McCaw claimed first place at Comber with a fantastic time of 19 minutes 25 seconds over the 5km distance. At the same event Tim McEwan clocked up his 100 Parkrun in a time of 24:07 while over at Bangor Gareth Nelson grabbed a new personal best time of 26:13.

Scrabo Striders continue to seek new members, so why not come along to a training night at 7:15pmon a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday at Londonderry Park and check us out. You will find friendly and welcoming people training at all levels in a non-competitive environment. Find out more at www.scrabostriders.com

by George McGonigal

Vice-Chair