Scrabo Take on Cross Country & Parkruns Alike

On Saturday 8th February, under the impending doom of Storm Ciara, the dedicated cross country runners headed to the Stormont Estate to take part in the penultimate Cross Country League meeting of the season. As with a majority of the XC calendar, the races were split into two. The course which measured approx. 1.1 miles per lap took in the undulations alongside the Prince of Wales Avenue of the stunning Stormont grounds.

First up were the senior ladies together with the veteran (60+ age category) taking on 3 laps of the course. Norman Mawhinney was the first veteran home overall in an impressive 21:04. Congratulations Norman on another victory. A fantastic habit to be in! Well done also to Paul Sheldon coming home in a brilliant 24:21.

For the ladies, first to cross the line in the distinctive purple was the Scrabo Striders Lady Captain, Lynn Sheldon in 27:06 followed quite closely by Fiona McAvoy in 27:48 and Amanda Martin in 28:05. Excellent times considering the ladies also took on the Comber parkrun earlier in the day.

Next to cross the line in under 30 minutes was Sheena Crone. Sheena was followed by Linda Dugan, Amanda Piesse, Phillippa Wilson, Claire Briggs, Lyndsey Lappin and Sonya Sommersgill all just over the 30 minute mark. The remaining ladies to cross the line before the clock hit 40 minutes were Catherine Dobbin, Jenna Lavery, Cheryl Alexander and Emma McCracken. Well done to you all.

In the men’s  4 lap race of the same course, James Lappin was first strider home in a fantastic 27:51 followed by Norman Mawhinney in 29:37. Ian Frazer (30:21), Graeme McGowan (31:01) and Colin Harper (32:56) were next to cross the line with John Brown and Abrar Hossain squeezing in under 35 minutes. Marty McConnell, Chris Green, Peter Briggs, Karl Henderson and David Turton all crossed the line under 40 minutes with Robin Adams and Davy Gordon coming in just over the 40.

An excellent representation of the club as there has been throughout the XC League.

It is worth pointing out that Scrabo have managed to have 30 junior member participate in at least 1 XC race which is simply amazing and absolute credit to not only the juniors themselves but to the junior coaching staff headed up by Phillippa Wilson. Well done Juniors!

In Comber, Robin Adams and Kathryn Chesney celebrated their 50th Parkrun Milestones while Karen Thompson celebrated a personal milestone of 150 parkruns.  They were joined by no less than 37 other Striders demonstrating the support is very strong at the club. Congratulations to David Rainey (29:51) and Kelly Houston (38:53) on their new Personal Bests. Well done also to Victoria Atkinson, Richard Murray, Nicola Forsythe and Kim Cochrane on their Course PBs.

Scrabo Striders is an all abilities club and training is held at Londonderry Park, Newtownards on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7.15pm. Why not come along and try out a few sessions? Visit for information.

by Colin Harper