IWD – International Women’s Day

Around the world research shows that women are less likely than men to take part in a parkrun.  So as part of the efforts to encourage more women and girls to participate, we are planning a female focused parkrun celebration at Stratford Park (Stroud) on Saturday 7th March 2020.

This is part of international events in celebration of female participation, and is supported by 'This Girl Can' campaign created by Sport England.

So come and join us, and bring a female friend.


Run Report Event #19 – New Years Day

Many thanks to Sarah Miller for this report.

Stratford Park parkrun #19 run report – 1st January 2020

What a great feeling to arrive at Stratford parkrun at 10.15am and find a place to park my car! I had been a bit concerned … I’d just been to Stonehouse parkrun, where their normal crowd of 40 had ballooned to over 300. What could we expect at Stratford Park, where their normal numbers are larger and the later start time would allow some of the slightly more sleepy parkrunners to have some extra time under the duvet AND have a run? I’d come a long way to do my first ever New Year ‘double’ … so it was a great feeling to be at the start line in good time. I even had time for a photo by the Stratford Park parkrun sign before we started!

It’s a sign of the parkrun vibe, that the total strangers who I’d found myself chatting to earlier that morning at Stonehouse parkrun, part 1 of the double for those of us who were doing it, now felt like friends. It was good to see that the RD from Stonehouse had managed to ditch his blue and white jacket and was ready to run too. What a beautiful setting we found ourselves in! The gorgeous trees and plants, even in mid-winter looked wonderful.

There were lots of us … the RD had his work cut out for us all to hear his briefing. Luckily, someone in the crowd near me summed up the course – 3 laps, hilly and muddy. Oh joy. Before I had time to back out, we all got moving, so for me, lap one of parkrun number two was away!

I was SO pleased I came to Stratford Park! It was beautiful – buildings, landscaping, the lot. It had a great level of challenge too, so that the super speedy people had hills to run up, while the rest of us could walk up, admire the view and run down. My new trail shoes kept me upright and only once did I wish I’d used the extra eyelet I’d been told about in the shop, to make sure they stay on my feet and not in the mud!

Top marks go to all 22 volunteers, from the team of the very smiley lady and her helpful daughter (I guess), near the museum, the extremely vocal and motivating ladies at the bottom and the top of what I’m calling ‘the big hill’, to the quietly encouraging man and his very patient dog by the fabulous tree and the exceptionally cheery man in the very warm looking hat at the bottom of what I’ll call ‘the other hill’, not forgetting the finish team, who cheered us along as if we were running a marathon. Thank you all!

Average numbers at Stratford Park are 120 – today it was 320! The huge majority of those were tourists, having travelled specially to do the double. However, there were 23 Personal Bests, 9 athletes who started 2020 in the finest way possible and ran their first ever parkrun and there were two unofficial milestones, with David Duncan Williams running his 300th and Hollie Harmer running her 200th. Max Luff and Karen Mason had just run their 100th at Stonehouse parkrun earlier in the day, so notched up 101 at Stratford Park.

I’m sure I can speak for everyone in thanking the team at Stratford Park in hosting such a fabulous parkrun on New Year’s Day. Happy New Year and Happy New Decade one and all.

Sarah Miller


Christmas and New Year parkruns at Stratford Park

Quick update on our Christmas parkruns for all you intrepid parkrunners out there.

  • On Saturday 21st December there will be the normal parkrun.
  • On Christmas Day there will not be a parkrun - although the park is open and feel free to walk/jog/run in the park if you need some air.
  • On Saturday 28th December there will be the normal parkrun
  • On New Years Day there will be a parkrun at Stratford Park starting at 10.30am (to double up with Stonehouse and enable those who want to, to do Stonehouse parkrun at 9.00am) - what a great way to kick off the new year.

See you over the festive period, and remember if it is wet trail shoes are advisable.


Run Report Event # 10

[Many thanks to Steph Bennett for this Run Report]

Stratford Park Stroud parkrun – Event #10 – 02/11/2019 - The one with the rain

 It seemed as though we had all the elements except snow against us today: rain, mud, puddles, swamps, slippery leaves and wind! Despite these harsh forces of nature, 46 runners, joggers and walkers braved the weather to attend parkrun at Stratford Park in Stroud this morning. Among these included tourists from Bristol, Chippenham, Dursley and Devon. We even had a little runner taking part in his first ever parkrun - well done to Rueben Michael-Morgan, we hope this was the first of many more wonderful parkruns to come.

Boasting to have “one of the finest collection of mature trees in the area,'' StratfordPark is a lovely 56 acre park which has won many awards for its tidiness and involvement with the local community. Of course this recently started parkrun has certainly helped to involve the community, with an average of around 135 runners attending each week

The parkrun course itself runs through a mostly grassy route, with lots of muddy puddles, swampy areas and some woodland trails with compact earth too, meaning trail shoes are a must. The recent stormy weather we’ve had meant that many of the leaves had formed into a deathly slippery slope in certain parts, so do be mindful and take care when running down slopes and remember to help out a fellow parkrunner who may have fallen! Despite all of this, the route is a simple, three lap course where you can take in the sights of the play park, museum, leisure centre and the lovely woodland pathways that border the valleys.

A big well done to all those who took part today, including those who achieved PBs and personal goals. No big milestones today but Sam Johnson is pretty close to earning his 100th milestone! Wayne Jones and Christine Hunt also completed their first ever parkruns today, welcome to the parkrun family and we hope to see you again soon.

After coming into the finish funnel to be greeted by a wonderful team of marshals, it was time to reward myself with coffee and cake! This came courtesy of the cafe within the Stroud Leisure Centre next to the park, it’s handy to know that if you show your parkrun barcode to them you are entitled to a yummy 40% discount!

The marshals are part of many of the wonderful volunteers who give up their time each week to make parkrun happen. A big thank you to all 14 of this week’s volunteers:

• Chris MOOS • Michele SMETHAM • Caroline CRATCHLEY • Steve LEE • Alice CRATCHLEY • Stephanie BENNETT • Anna RYAN • Laura WHITE • Fadi DAHDOUH • Holly FOWLES • Tina CUTLER • Marcia THOMPSON • Andrew CASE • Alan VENN•

Volunteering is a really fun and rewarding way to be part of the parkrun family, so if you haven’t already tried it, please do give it a go! There are so many different roles to choose from and you’ll be shown the ropes by the parkrun core team, so it really is as simple as that.

This week 46 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 32 were first timers and 2 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 17 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 14 volunteers.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Stratford Park parkrun, Stroud Results Page.

The female record is held by Kimberley NEWCOMBE who recorded a time of 21:09 on 31st August 2019 (event number 1).

The male record is held by James DENNE who recorded a time of 17:40 on 14th September 2019 (event number 3).

The Age Grade course record is held by Kate SACKETT who recorded 76.95% (24:31) on 5th October 2019 (event number 6).

Stratford Park parkrun, Stroud started on 31st August 2019. Since then 802 participants have completed 1,264 parkruns covering a total distance of 6,320 km, including 182 new Personal Bests. A total of 72 individuals have volunteered 176 times.

Stephanie Bennett

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