Scrabo Striders News, Mark’s First Marathon

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This week’s events for members of Scrabo Striders running club began on Wednesday at the East Antrim Marathon Series’ Santa 6 Hour Challenge. Completing 8 laps of the Belfast Loughshore course encompassing Gideons Green was Thomas Steele in a time of 5 hours 19 minutes. Competing in the marathon category were Mark Arnold who finished in a time of 5:13:49 on his first ever marathon, and Jill Long just seconds later in 5:19:56.

Jill Long & Mark Arnold

Mark Arnold & Thomas Steele

Christmas-themed races continued at the weekend, with the Jingle 5 and 10K races taking place at Stormont in aid of NI Children’s’ Hospice on Sunday. Scrabo Striders members donned their festive attire and joined over 300 other runners to raise money for this worthy cause. First in for the club in the 10K category was Matthew Cavill in 45:36, followed by Paul Blair in 52:46 and Olli Seeger and Emma Clements crossing the line together in 54:27.  Meanwhile in the 5K event, first club finisher was Patricia Adams in 26:37, followed by Linda Ingram in 30:23 and Lynsey Wightman in 30:56. Next across the line in just over 32 minutes was Kelly Houston, followed a minute later by Vanessa Mannis. Denise Nodder, Alison James, Karen Thompson, Debi Allen and Alison Rodgers rounded out the club’s entrants. Well done to all who ran.

Saturday saw the continuation of the ever-popular Run Forest Run series, organised by Born 2 Run. This week’s venue was Loughgall Forest, providing undulating trails for the 5K and 10K options. Kim Cochrane was first Strider across the line in the 5K, in a time of 37:30, followed by Erin Donnelly (40:25), Clare McCormick (44:13), Susanne McVea (44:27), Alison Rodgers (46:23) and Mairead Curran (46:25).

In the 10K race, Paul McKnight was first Strider across the line with a time of 47:29. He was followed by Lesley Semple and Paul Morrow finishing together on 50:08. Next came Steve McCormick in 54:18, closely followed by Andrea Thompson a few seconds later. Richard Murray finished a second under the 56-minute mark, followed by Ken Rodgers just 22 seconds later. Angie Crone crossed the line just under the 1:12 mark. Thank you to all participants for representing the club and earning points in the Club Challenge!

As usual, Striders were well represented at Parkruns on Saturday, with the most popular choice being Comber where Bill McGucken achieved a PB. Paul Sheldon ran his 150thParkrun at Whinlatter Forest in England, while closer to home Gary Clarke and Victoria Atkinson both achieved course PBs at Stormont. Another course PB at Victoria Park for Shannon Clegg, where Mark Leathem recorded an overall PB. 

Scrabo Striders is an all-abilities running club with non-competitive training sessions taking place on Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7:15PM in Londonderry Park. Why not come down and try out a training session – the club provides a welcoming atmosphere and you’ll be sure to hook up with a group that runs at your pace.

By Ian Frazer