Saturday 19th October was a busy day for members of Newtownards running club Scrabo Striders. Seventeen of the club’s athletes took part in the GR8 Dundrum Race, on an 8-mile route along a mix of road, beach and boardwalk incorporating Murlough Nature Reserve and the stunning backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne. Organised by Mourne Athletic Club the route had some challenging hills. There was also a 3.5 mile assisted and non-assisted wheelchair race which Striders Charlie Allen took part in and won in a time of 31 minutes 29 seconds.
The first Strider home was Matthew Cavill in 1 hour 1 minutes minute 56 seconds followed by Lesley Semple in 01:07:17, Paul morrow just behind in 01:07:29 then Mark Halus 01:08:11, David Turton 01:10:23, Paul Blair 01:11:06 and three seconds later Mervyn Kinney. Finishing this challenging course in under 1 hour 25 next came Liz Turton, Paul Kirkwood, Kathryn Chesney and Jill Long. Scot Knight, Nicola Forsythe, Lynda Croskery, Allie Farley and Rhonda Magowan also ran. A big well done to all, thanks for representing Scrabo Striders so well.
Scrabo at GR8 Dundrum
Also on Saturday the annual Comber Cup Cross-Country races took place at the Billy Neill Soccer Centre. This event, hosted by Ballydrain Harrier and Athletic Club, held races for primary school age children, juniors and adults in muddy conditions underfoot due to heavy rain. Thankfully the rain stopped and the sun came out as things got underway.
Scrabo had 19 kids running in the 1km Primary 6/7 race with Ollie Hanna, William Murphy and Ethan Lappin taking the top three places followed by Anton Lupary, Olivia Smyth, Bobby McGonigal and Archie Lappin finishing in under 5 minutes. Harry Montgomery, Faye Alexander, Holly Scott, Matthew Stevenson, Leah Butler, Isabella Harper, Eva Alexander, Lexie Brown, Amelia Henderson, Aoife Collins, Evie Boyd and Isla Murphy also ran. Well done primary schoolers!
In the Under 13 category Laura Scott finished first for the club covering the 2 km distance in 8 minutes 14 seconds followed by Reily Hanna, Saoirse Collins and Aaron Blaine. In the U15 race Patrick McCallister finished in 10:28, while Cammie Mackey also ran.
Scrabo Junors @ Comber Cup
The John McKeag Cup was the next race, a 3 lap 6km circuit ladies race where Lynn Sheldon was first for Scrabo in 33 minutes 46 seconds followed by Barbara Mckechnie in 34:08, Fiona McAvoy 34:12, Dawn Ross 36:13, Caroline Smyth 36:16, Sheena Crone 37:18 and Beverley McKee in 38:55 to complete the sub forty minute group. In the men’s race Norman Mawhinney finished in 26 minutes 54 seconds placing him 10th overall and 1st in the M60 class, followed by Paul Sheldon in 30:25.
The Comber Cup itself was a 4 lap 8km race in what was by now a sea of mud. The first Strider across the line was Dave Stevenson in 38:13 followed by Graeme McGowan seven seconds later. Then came Abrar Hossain in 40:14, Peter Stevens 41:19, Tim McEwan 41:29, Colin Harper 41:37, Ian Fraser 43:41 and Marty McConnell in 43:53. Congratulations to Ballydrain Harriers for staging a superb event!
In other running the 2019 Mourne Skyline race took place on Saturday. This daunting challenge of running between ten peaks of the Mourne Mountains, finishing on the mighty Slieve Donard was met by James Lappin, Kieran McNamara and Justin Black. 35km distance with 11000 feet of climbing in 50 mph winds and minus 3 degree hail, what a fantastic display of endurance running and an inspiration to your fellow Club members! Thomas Steele completed the Bilbao Marathon in 3 hours 10 minutes, setting a new personal best by a whopping 15 minutes in the process. Congratulations Thomas.
James Lappin, Kieran McNamara, Justin Black at Mourne Skyline. Thomas Steel at Bilbao
At the weekly 5km Parkruns Ally Gray took 1st female place at Comber in 27 minutes 21 seconds while Liz Turton took 2nd female in Rostrevor in 30:19, Ian bailie set a new personal best of 25:14 in Bangor and David Rainey completed his 150th Parkrun in 30:05 at Stormont. Congratulations David.