Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun #187 12th October 2019

An ally to health and wellness

A splendid morning for our 187th parkrun at Stratford upon Avon. Despite the temperatures taking a dip as we head into Autumn 362 people arrived for the fun. As Eliud Kipchoge gripped the athletic world in completing a sub 2 hour marathon, unachieved by any human being before, it was an inspirational day for running. Volunteers and runners came out in full force, taking part in this incredible ever growing initiative. It was inspiring to see people from all walks of life including our parkrun tourists from Scotland! Congratulations to our first place runner Jonathan ASHLEY coming in at 17 minutes 41 seconds not long after, followed by junior runner Cameron Thomas at 18 minutes 14 seconds, isn't that incredible? and then Michael THOMAS. For the women: 1 Debbie WALTERS, 2 Ellie DEANER and 3 Emma BEXSON.

As a psychiatrist by profession I know how important exercise is for health and wellness both mental and physical. Recent research by the University of Staffordshire available at has shown that parkrunners  who identified as having experienced mental health difficulties found parkrun beneficial to their mental health.

I have personally begn to reap the benefits of exercise by deciding to get active 3 years ago, doing the NHS couch to 5k. Some time after running solo my husband Hussain Al-Zubaidi, GP by profession took me to my first parkrun last year and it changed the sport for me entirely. I now see it as part of who I am a ’’parkrunner’’, a social event as we often go with friends and enjoy a well deserved brunch after, a time for me to de stress thereby looking after my mental health and time to get my heart rate up to hit those NHS recommended exercise goals.

Hussain is part of the team at Clarendon Lodge Medical Practice and they are proud to call themselves a parkrun practice, which is an endeavour by the royal college of GPs to encourage outdoor activity for its known significant health benefits. They have recently launched an online club ‘’Clarendon Lodge Medical Practice Fitness Club’’ to spread the message. People can get involved by using the hashtag #CLMPFC. They club is also asking people to post distances covered in any sport using the hashtag #pledge10000 which is a joint community effort to cover 10000 km distance by Christmas 2019! This is us representing the club at a recent parkrun.

I can not praise the parkrun initiative enough for supporting people of all ages and abilities to get active. Whatever your reason for coming to parkrun today to volunteer or take part in the distance, well done for finding that motivation. It’s great to see people looking after their health and wellness through this fantastic initiative and we hope to see you all again.

We are very grateful to the volunteers who made this event happen:

Natalie DELLAR • Archie LUCAS • Sarah HARVEY • Simon TEALE • Emma BAKER • Lara BAKEWELL • Jason CANNADINE • Christine COOPER • Helen BAKER • Paul HODGES • Peter EVANS • Sharon HARCOURT • Simon WILLIAMS • Sam MARTIN • Michael OLIVER • Georgie CAMPBELL • Freya HOWAT • Harry TEALE HOWAT • Phoebe HOWAT • Ollie CRABTREE • James BAKER • Nick SIMS • Sarah STIRMAN • Bill GOURLAY • Sylvia MORRIS • Kevan RUSSELL • Aidan TOLHURST • Shahnaz HASSAN • Paul BAKER • Nena DAVIES • Henry SKIRVIN • Lauren CLACK • Thomas HEATH • Gill MCGEOUGH • Katie BARRITT • Mia FEATHERSTONE

This week 362 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 45 were first timers and 62 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 27 different clubs took part.

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun Results Page.

Congratulations to our milestone runners:

10 Oliver BRAMBLE

50 Cameron THOMAS, Roger REED and Lisa BENJAMIN

Run Report by Shahnaz HASSAN

A real team effort this week as Run Directors:  Simon TEALE, Natalie DELLAR and guest Run Director from juniors Lara BAKEWELL

Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun official website - Facebook - Twitter

Your core team at SuApr are: Simon - Natalie - John W - Sue - Sarah - Paul - Bev - Brad

Are you a frequent parkrunner, or does your barcode regularly fail to scan or you're having problems with your printer? You should consider getting some Barcode wristbands. Make our scanners' lives easier and be the envy of all of your parkrunner chums!
Volunteering: How to get involved
Finding out about Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun volunteering opportunities couldn't be easier. Simply open a recent parkrun newsletter, results email or volunteer email, click on 'manage my profile', then 'email options', then select the events you'd like to hear from and click 'save opt-in events list'. You will then receive regular emails from those events letting you know all about their volunteering opportunities.
Future roster
You can see an event's future volunteer roster via our future roster page. To get in touch with us, just send an email to
What would I do at the Event?
First, and most importantly, we never ask anybody to do anything they're not comfortable with. If you don't want a particular task, please let us know and we will happily give you an alternative job. But if you really want to do something in particular, please let us know and we'll see what we can do. You can find out more about Stratford volunteering roles on our Facebook notes page. We can also sort out roles that allow you to volunteers with (or as far as possible away from) your friends and family!


#185 In Memory of Gary Whittle 20th January 1959 – 27th August 2019

It was another beautiful morning for Stratford upon Avon’s 185th parkrun and my 100th.

185th SuA parkrun 0030

The sun shone, the wind blew and the rain kept away and we were back on the three lap course, hurray!


I have been addicted to parkrun since April 2016 when I first took part in the Stratford run. I love the sense of community the parkrun provides, the fact it’s in a fabulous location and a great opportunity to indulge my passion for exercise is an absolute bonus.


One of the greatest joys of a Saturday morning parkrun is the opportunity to catch up with friends from the local area. One of the friends I would regularly see was Gary Whittle who sadly lost his battle with cancer in August. Gary was an avid park runner, turning up rain or shine even while under-going treatment. Each week we’d catch up on work and family news and our plans for the weekend ahead. We’d also spend some time discussing the range of mitigating factors that were likely to prevent this being a PB week! More often than not this involved one or other of us enjoying one too many glasses of wine the night before! Gary’s enthusiasm for parkrun was infectious and he occasionally brought other family members along with him; notably his sons Elliot and Theo and his dog Murphy. Gary completed 114 runs, all at Stratford, and the last one he ran was on the 8th June 2019.


I look forward to my next 100 parkruns, they just won’t be quite the same without Gary.

Run Report by Jenny McCormick

You can find hundreds of great photos taken by Gary Woodruff and Peter Clarke at run #185 here.

Milestone Shirts

Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun
Event number 185
28th September 2019

This week 405 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 60 were first timers and 43 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 36 different clubs took part.

The event was made possible by 44 volunteers:

Natalie DELLAR • John WORTHINGTON • Archie LUCAS • Paul NASH • Catherine SMITH • Angela COX • Sue TEALE • Jason CANNADINE • Christine COOPER • John WADE • Simon WILLIAMS • Sam MARTIN • Jonathan WARD • Michael OLIVER • Shaun BAKER • Freya HOWAT • Harry TEALE HOWAT • Harry BAKER • Phoebe HOWAT • Jennifer MCCORMICK • Ollie CRABTREE • James BAKER • Penny RUSBRIDGE • Jeanette BATCHELOR • Daphne RUTT • Sarah STIRMAN • Andrew HIBBITT • Zarig PROTHERO • Gary WOODRUFF • Kevan RUSSELL • Max ROSS • Aidan TOLHURST • Paul BAKER • Peter CLARKE • Nena DAVIES • Henry SKIRVIN • Lauren CLACK • Thomas HEATH • Luke DANIEL • Theo KALARGEROS • Elliot DANIEL • Gill MCGEOUGH • Mia FEATHERSTONE • Luay NAJI

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun Results Page.

The female record is held by Unknown (F) who recorded a time of 16:27 on 24th December 2016 (event number 44).
The male record is held by Ronny WILSON who recorded a time of 15:31 on 5th January 2019 (event number 149).
The Age Grade course record is held by Kate WRIGHT who recorded 97.30% (17:54) on 15th April 2017 (event number 61).

Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun started on 20th February 2016. Since then 10,352 participants have completed 57,801 parkruns covering a total distance of 289,005 km, including 10,312 new Personal Bests. A total of 736 individuals have volunteered 5,326 times.


#184 – Stonesfield Hardasses hit on Stratford

21st September 2019

We call ourselves the Stonesfield Hardasses – an unofficial group title which combines the name of the village ten miles north west of Oxford where most of us live with our never-say-die attitude to running and getting up early on a Saturday morning to travel to parkrun!

This attitude was much needed today as several of our younger members were out partying last night and thus the worse for wear. My son, Bertie, managed a sprint finish despite having had to stop on the journey over to throw up (it was an eighteenth birthday party); his sprint finish was not a great idea, as the ‘after’ photo reveals - he is the grey-faced one staring uncomfortably into the middle distance. His friend, aka ‘no barcode’ Ben (crucially not at the party last night), got a PB of 19.39. Ben’s nickname is self-explanatory but happily today he had remembered his barcode, even if he had left it in the car and so had to run an extra km at the end to fetch it.

Another one of us, Caroline, also got a new PB of 28.18. Caroline has taken ten minutes off her parkrun time in just a few months.


The older and more sensible among us were able to delight in Stratford-upon-Avon’s flat course, the friendly atmosphere, the smiling, encouraging marshals, the lovely weather and the gorgeous river views – which we all appreciated, despite the usual three lap course being turned into a three-and-three-quarter lap course to make space for a regatta. The extra lap, we were advised, meant that there would be more overlapping than usual, but it was all very smooth, orderly and good humoured. Personally, as a middle-aged solid ‘half-way downer,’ I like watching the fast ones zoom past, as I’m gasping from step to step, it’s inspiring.

First male finisher was Joe Morrow and his time of 16.13 was also a new PB. Georgie Campbell was first female finisher again with a time of 18.13. There were 399 runners, of whom 8 were Stonesfield Hardasses – and it would have been 10 but for the hangovers which kept a couple of our number in bed…which is a shame as this would have taken the total over 400…however parkrun is an inclusive, non-judgmental, fun thing, so we’ll let them off this time ;-)

Event #184 saw three runners celebrate their birthdays. Neil Williams who is 40, doubled the celebrations by running his 100th parkrun today as well. Twins James and Will were 12 today.

I was so impressed at the number of 11-14 year olds taking part today, I couldn’t run three miles consecutively when I was 12, I was too busy eating Sherbet Dib-Dabs and listening to The Human League. There were several milestones to celebrate also.

Debbie Madden and Simon Crowe reached their 50th parkrun and Chris Francis reached his 100th.

Congratulations also to Luke Daniels who hit his 25th parkrun volunteer role today and well done to Rachel Killian who was a parkrun volunteer for the first time. Perfect weather for it! Thanks to Sarah and her crew who did a great job laying on all those refreshments and Run Directors, Bev and Brad who made the whole event run so smoothly. A great morning, thankyou!

Eleanor Bailey
parkrunner A1555231

This week 399 people ran, jogged and walked the course, of whom 61 were first timers and 46 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 43 different clubs took part.
The event was made possible by 33 volunteers:

Ruth CALDERBANK • Diane DAVIES • Stella TOLHURST • Archie LUCAS • Simon TEALE • Brad GOODFELLOW • Rachel KILLIAN • Angela COX • Beverley BRIGDEN • Helen BAKER • Eleanor BAILEY • Julie HARRIS-GRANT • Sara BARSLEY • Simon WILLIAMS • Sam MARTIN • Michael OLIVER • Cindy BRITTAN • Phoebe HOWAT • Ollie CRABTREE • James BAKER • Sarah STIRMAN • Andrew HIBBITT • Kevan RUSSELL • Paul BAKER • Luke DANIEL • Elliot DANIEL • Gill MCGEOUGH • Katie BARRITT • Joanna BROUGHTON • Sebastian BROUGHTON • Carrie POWELL • Mia FEATHERSTONE • Luay NAJI

Today's full results and a complete event history can be found on the Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun Results Page.

  • The female record is held by Unknown (F) who recorded a time of 16:27 on 24th December 2016 (event number 44).
  • The male record is held by Ronny WILSON who recorded a time of 15:31 on 5th January 2019 (event number 149).
  • The Age Grade course record is held by Kate WRIGHT who recorded 97.30% (17:54) on 15th April 2017 (event number 61).

Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun started on 20th February 2016. Since then 10,292 participants have completed 57,396 parkruns covering a total distance of 286,980 km, including 10,269 new Personal Bests. A total of 733 individuals have volunteered 5,282 times.


#183 – Who said summer was over?

Last week I indulged in a spot of parkrun tourism, taking in a very sunny, if slightly windswept, Whitley Bay parkrun. It was surprising to be started with very little introduction, and no-more of a fanfare than a simple “Ready?, 3-2-1-Go!” from the RD. It seemed that there were many runners caught out, with lots of frantic watch-setting as we all set-off. 

Whilst it was exciting to tick off another parkrun venue, I was glad to come back to my “home” parkrun here at Stratford-upon-Avon. We may not have the promenade, beaches and the crashing waves, but we do have the Swans, boats, the wonderful riverside setting, and of course the friendly (and somewhat relaxed) preamble that always precedes the start.

Today we had glorious sunshine, and little in the way of breeze; a perfect opportunity to set a new PB! Of the 401 smiling happy people who lined up this morning, to sprint, run, jog, walk, hop, skip or jump their way round our flat 3-lap course, an incredible 111 of you recorded a new PB (including me ☺ )! Surely that is some form of record?

First male home today was Charlie Staveley (in 16:38 – a new PB, well done Sir), and first female home was Georgie Campbell (18 minutes on the nose, and just shy of a new PB). Angela Cox again grabbed the bragging rights for recording the day’s highest Age Grading (85.96% - splendid stuff!).

Milestones this week were many:

Celebrating their 10th run today: Jane Symons, and Luke Cassidy (both of whom were in the new PB camp!).


Clocking their 50th runs today: Linda Mazey (a SAC C25k graduate), Evie Beard, Suzie Mishima, Jonathan Allen and Veena Basra.





And racking up their 100th runs today: Christopher Collis, Thomas Mayes and Andy Ingram.


As always, this event would not take place without our wonderful volunteer crew. Thisweek it was good to see 2 new faces in their ranks (welcome aboard 1st-time volunteers Ollie Crabtree and Andrew Hibbett). And clocking up her 25th volunteer today was Christine Cooper. If you’re not registered to receive the weekly email call-to-volunteer then please do sign up. Its friendly, free, and (and don’t tell anyone else this) as a volunteer, you get first dibs on the extra special biscuits before the run kicks off. What more persuasion do you need?


And happy birthday Jane!


Finally, we must give a special shout out to Tom Doggett (Evesham Run Director, and member of Evesham Vale Running Club) who was squeezing in a quick parkrun before nipping off to get married at 11am – given he clocked a time of 21:14 I can only assume he made it to the church on time ☺


One wonders if he was a little nervous, as he brought along a large contingent of Evesham Vale runners for support this morning – welcome to you all.

Barry Cooper, A5001822


#179 Speed finishes first

Saturday was only my second visit to Stratford-upon-Avon parkrun. The first was about a year ago. This visit was arranged by Redditch Stars and Run Alcester, a collaboration of parkrun fun with some extra social miles along the river afterwards. Run Leader Becky Lees had celebrated her 50th parkrun at Stratford last week and on Saturday ran 16 miles in total, before, during and after, in training for her “40 Ultras before 40!”

There were visitors from Australia, Hong Kong, China and Norwich to name a few and milestones for 50 and 200 runs and 100 Volunteer events.

Conditions after a very wet and windy week, were good for the 441 runners and walkers, hence the 74 PBs and the fastest male, Harvey Speed (I know!) completed in 16:15 whilst first female, Lucy Dowsett came home in 17:54. Top age grading was Angela Cox with 82.88%, just wow!

Redditch Stars and Run Alcester runners all enjoyed their runs at different paces and gathered afterwards to appreciate the fantastic spread of post-run refreshments on offer, something pretty unique to this event.

Afterwards we trotted back around the course before enjoying a leisurely run along the river and back through the fields near the racecourse, not too muddy at the moment but plenty of steps to test the legs further.

It was a meet up with friends at Hobsons Patisserie afterwards, highly recommended for the amazing cakes and cream teas of epic proportions.

A wonderful social morning at a super friendly event.


⇐ Newer Posts