Isabel Trail parkrun – Event #40

Hi my name is Leonora (Leo) it’s a great privilege to be writing the run report for the 40th Isabel Trail parkrun. The Isabel team are so quick that the Facebook page has already given many of this weeks stats, 53 were first timers, 56 recorded new PB’s,. representatives of 29 different clubs took part. I thought I would turn my report into a bit of a chat about family and volunteers.

This was the first time that I had volunteered at Isabel - the previous week (being a virgin tourist and volunteer at Southwark parkrun) . Early in the week I looked at the roster and there were only a couple of names on for the 7th, this prompted me to think - I get so much from this run surely, I can give something back? Some of the roles, and the two that I did on Saturday; run report and first time briefing, are great because I could still run and to do these. One of our tourists also sorted finish tokens, once she had finished her run - thank you!.

A huge thanks to all the volunteers that made it possible for me to run today and some of them sacrificing their own run so 262 of us could do just that. I have to say putting on the hi-viz was a bit scary as people automatically started asking me questions (thankfully simple -yes you can put your jacket in the tent) but I soon lost my nerves as I interacted with the lovely runners and volunteers that attended this week.

A big up to the rest of this weeks team, Julie ASHFORD, Crawford BAIRD, Melanie BATH, Chris BEDFORD, Neil COLLINGWOOD, Lisa CONN, Holly DRAPER, Sarah ENGLISH, Eileen FITZGERALD, Jon FOLLOWS, Steph HOLBECK, Jane HOLT, Catherine LINDSAY, Michael MCCOY, Joanna MCCOY, Adam MORRIS, Ellie OLIVER, Kathleen PASSEY, Gemma PHILLIPS, Wendy ROBERTS, Chris THOMPSON, Jenny THOMPSON, Tessa VERNON, Simon WARWICK

If you have any family and friends that may like a bit of fresh air please encourage them to come and volunteer, #DoingOurBit. I asked some non-running friends to volunteer I think they all enjoyed the atmosphere and vibe and foraging for damsons (Jon) that parkrun brings. Today was no exception to the ‘usual parkrun suspects’ there were lots of alphabeteers for the illusive ‘I’ and runners from as far away as Tokyo, South Africa and Swindon. No milestones this week but a shout out to Wesley touring with his daughter Arianwen JM10 who was on running this week for his half cowl - I did not even realise there was such a thing! It means he has 50 tourist parkruns (a full cowl is 100 tourist runs). I noticed that he also ran his 97th race today - that black tee shirt will soon be yours for the taking! London as always was also represented on Saturday with runners from Victoria Dock.

What I love about parkrun is the family atmosphere, aside from the bigger parkrun family couples such as regulars Ann and Clive Douglas who will be getting 50 tee-shirts for sure as the weeks go by, or mums and dads with their kids and even whole families, the entire Burrows family turned out this week, Toby who is usually busy earning money at his Saturday job joined regulars his mum Kathy, dad Simon and little bro Archie to take part in his first parkrun - I hope you enjoyed it! My family chat would not be complete without mentioning ‘our lot’ - My husband and I (I sound like the queen) both managed to run this week not as well as our son Jordan who joined the other 56 PB’s and also managed to get a new course record 15:18, and 10th spot in the weekly national times to boot - so well done Jordan! #proud mummy moment.


Picture by his Aunty Kate who was barcode scanning, his partner Holly marshalled at the first bridge so you may have seen them both cheering you home. Jordan nearly #DidFYB like 30 others this week it would have been a shame not to be able to record his time, so please - DON’T FORGET YOUR BARCODE and come down and see Simon WARWICK and the guys from New 2 Tri as they do a volunteer take over even next weekend.  That said there are still a few spaces available so check out the VOLUNTEER ROSTER for next week and the next few sessions and help make parkrun happen.

Happy running everyone!



Isabel Trail Parkrun #32 Run Report 31st August 2019 by Mandy

Today I met Helen and Jane from Stone Master Marathoners

They are lovely ladies and regular runners.

It’s the first time I’ve met Jane but I’ve known Helen since OU days

And now we like to meet up quite often on parkrun Saturdays.

5k Your Way, Move Against Cancer who are community based

Are there today too to be supportive; walk, jog or race.

They attend at the end of the month with lots of enthusiasm and cheering

And raise awareness for families touched by cancer by running and volunteering.

There are tourists aplenty today from all over the place -

From Manchester, Mansfield and Bracknell to nearby Stone and Cannock Chase.

Helen and I started off with a good pace running together

Nattering and catching up and discussing the weather!

And then Helen had a super surge of energy along the way

She sped off in front of me and conquered the 5k – her way! (Well done Helen!)

The Isabel Trail made the top ten fastest runs this weekend –

Run Wild MCR Matthew Kotara a super speedy time of 15:43 - what a legend! (Whoop whoop!)

However, don't forget it’s also a place to meet friends with a walk and some laughter

And you can continue the buzz of the morning by going for a coffee after.

So come along and try it – it’s good for the mind, body and soul – so glad that I began

I love it and I am someone who never exercised, let alone ran!

Thank you again to all of the volunteers and the marshals en route

Especially Catherine who never fails to make me smile in her pink tutu!

And to the tail walker who dons her beautiful foxy tail

To ensure that you are never classed as last at the Isabel Trail.


Isabel Trail parkrun – 24th August 2019

So Saturday was an unusually sunny day for us which, was even more of a treat than usual as it was a bank holiday weekend. As is well documented by alphabeteers and those on the 25 letter journey, Isabel Trail is one of only three letter ‘I’s in the country (incidentally it was launched shortly after I had booked my Och ‘I’ trip to Inverness but what’s a day in a car to a parkrunner?!) but the letter also stands for interchange which, this parkrun truly is. It’s convenient situation from the M6 means that the run has lots of tourists and this week was no exception. There were people travelling up and down the country seeking the letter, ticking off another parkrun venue, going away for the weekend, visiting others and en route to Wembley and this meant that the run’s first timers made up around a third of participants this week.

Speaking of first timers, well what a welcome? What a briefing? The lady who volunteered to do the first timer’s briefing was actually ‘i’ncredible. She was not only ‘i’nformative (ok I will ditch the I thing now.....) but her passion for parkrun was clear and she was highly entertaining and made everyone smile. Speaking of the all important volunteers they all did the parkrun proud. As this is an out and back course and you’d really struggle to get lost, I was surprised at the number of marshals on course but they totally added to the atmosphere as they were so cheery and supportive. As we know, parkrun can’t operate without volunteers and even as a tourist we can still help - roles like writing this run report or pre / post even support mean you can run and volunteer at the same time.

So altogether 244 of us are ran, jogged or walked Stafford’s beautiful Isabel Trail on Saturday which, I must say is organised to brief and start to everyone very promptly. First place for the males was Stephen Higgins who was visiting for his alphabet. Second was Matthew Craen and third was Newbury AC’s Danny Hawkins. First (young) Lady home was Jessica Hill who also got a PB. She was followed by Shropshire Shuffler Heather Fras, on her first visit and Nell Darby of Hook Norton Harriers was third and was also on her inaugural run here. There were lots of cracking runs in spite of the hot conditions on Saturday but it’s not all about times so well done to everyone who got involved.

On behalf of all visitors, thank you so much to the core team, other volunteers and regular runners at Isabel Trail parkrun. It really is fast, flat and friendly and convenient to exploring the town centre for the all important cafes (we had no problem finding doggy friendly for our friends). Happy parkrunning everyone!


Isabel Trail parkrun – Event #37 – 17th August 2019

Isabel Trail parkrun is a picturesque out-and-back course along a disused railway line close to Stafford town centre. It is popular with "Alphabeteers" seeking the illusive "i" which for many used to involve lengthy treks to Ipswich or Inverness. Isabel is more centrally located in the Midlands and has easy access from the M6 motorway.

I had somewhat inadvertently been dragged into the addictive business of accumulating a complete portfolio of alphabetical parkruns. It started with a keenness of touring and an insatiable appetite for new courses, and observing how events are run across the country. I hadn't heard of Alphabeteering until I had already acquired around 15 letters, quite naturally, and so the heightened awareness led to an extra-sensory overload, and a committed drive to complete it with a grandiose finale of "Z", necessitating a trip to Northern Poland scheduled for October!

The Isabel Trail is an unassuming and humble parkrun. It isn't at all ostentatious. Its beauty is in its simplicity and in the clockwork efficiency of the organisation. I arrived around 8.15am to familiarise myself with the course. It doesn't come much easier to navigate, an out-and- back to a cone at halfway and a return to where you've started. There is a slight climb on the outward section, rewarded with the down to the finish. What struck me, was the keenness of many marshals who were already in position as I passed them at 8.40am. I have never seen such dedication anywhere else in the country, and even those stationed at the furthermost points of the course were heading to their marshal points 20 minutes before the event was due to start. Equally impressive, no less than 26 volunteers served a field of just over 200 athletes.

The First Timers briefing was short and sweet (as they should be in my view) and Wendy Sears (RD) injected an excellent balance of startline information and humour. The narrow path runs for much of the entire route, and PB hunters are advised to make their way towards the front. The first kilometre was a little congested, but as always it thins out, and passing opportunities become significantly easier to those who seek them.

Isabel Trail's record attendance is an impressive 347. Today, 208 took part, and as is customary with this parkrun, plenty of tourists, from as far afield as Folkestone, St. Helens, Manchester, Buckingham and Aylesbury.

The course record is held by Jamie Arnold (15.24) and by Emma Gould (17.32) - though it wasn't beaten today, a special mention must be made for an outstanding boy named Tyler Hawley in the JM11-14 category, who collected the first token in a blistering 17.26 with an age grade percentage of 81.36%, collecting his "10 shirt" in the process. The final finisher was Tailwalker Amanda Dolding who wrapped up proceedings in a time of 1.06.14.

Event 37 Lead Runner

5 athletes ran their very first parkrun. We welcome them all to the family and hope they continue to enjoy parkrun for many years to come. They were:

Sebastian Barron, Amanda Newbery, Adam Day, Chloe Goodwin and Gemma Ashley.

Well done to you all and hope you enjoyed your first event.

One final special mention goes to the most decorated athlete taking part, Jeremy Creasey, who clocked his 344th event in the VM 50-54 category in an impressive time of 22.23.

And last but by no means least, to the 12 "unknown athletes": don't forget your barcode!


Isabel Trail parkrun – Event #36

It’s Friday and time to wash all the High-Vis and charge the laptop and Barcode Scanners

Saturday is here and it’s parkrun time!

All the equipment is loaded into the car, ready for the journey to Stafford

Bags of equipment and signs taken to the start line

Each Marshal is handed their High-Vis, given their Marshal Point and walks up the Trail, ready to greet the parkrunners

Last-minute visitors catch the start of the Run Director’s briefing

Timekeepers are poised and Go! parkun 36 is underway

Runners, joggers and walkers pass the first marshal points, high 5s and smiles aplenty

A runner appears over the Doxey Marshes bridge, it’s Matthew Craen, who maintains a good lead at the front

In a time of 17:43 he finishes, with the fastest female, Claire Cannon of Hedge End Running Club in 22:05

Loads of runners, joggers and walkers follow, in total 206 follow the lead runner

parkrun Panda is further along the Trail, high 5ing those who need some Panda-Power!

At the rear of the trail is our Tail Walker, aptly named modelling a Fox’s tail!

Runners start crossing the line, beep, beep, beep of the stopwatch and scanners starts

Kids in attendance, with the fastest Junior being Jack Heath in 23:31

Route completed by everyone, the course is closed down for another week, the Trail returns back to sleep

United together, volunteers walk back towards Sainsburys, transporting the equipment back to its storage place

Now it’s Results Processing time, unscannables entered, Volunteer Roster updated and button pressed! Emails fly out, Isabel Trail will see you again, for parkrun 37 next week!


This week 207 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 55 were first timers and 36 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 29 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 26 volunteers:

Lee BARNARD • Sarah MACKNESS • Julie Heather NOKES • Wendy SEARS • Jane HOLT • Melanie BATH • Juli WOOD • Nick BAGGOTT • Richard CRUMP • Chris BEDFORD • Lisa CONN • Heather HIGGS • Jenny THOMPSON • Diana BEDFORD • Claire WALKER • Neil COLLINGWOOD • Chris THOMPSON • Joanna MCCOY • Maryam PATEL • Steven BUNYAN • Sarah BEDFORD • Sarah ENGLISH • Vickie SCOTT • Catherine LINDSAY • Michael MCCOY • Lauren RAY

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Isabel Trail parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Emma GOULD who recorded a time of 17:32 on 9th February 2019 (event number 10).
The male record is held by Jamie ARNOLD who recorded a time of 15:24 on 23rd February 2019 (event number 12).
The Age Grade course record is held by Sue NICHOLLS who recorded 92.98% (25:11) on 12th January 2019 (event number 6).

Isabel Trail parkrun started on 8th December 2018. Since then 3,523 participants have completed 9,048 parkruns covering a total distance of 45,240 km, including 2,046 new Personal Bests. A total of 264 individuals have volunteered 865 times.

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