Hi, I'm Ronnie Bray and have been involved with parkrun since my first event in 2011. Anyone who knows me knows I can sum myself up in one word - Boom!


Having previously been a heavy smoker I decided to give up and was able to use parkrun to get fit and replace the addiction! I don't do anything in half measure. I quickly loved the buzz of parkrun and felt part of the parkrun community.

I also found I enjoyed volunteering and organising the events as much as I did running them therefore I eventually setup Temple Newsam parkrun in 2012.

I soon became a parkrun Ambassador helping parkruns and junior parkrun events get off the ground in my area. Yorkshire had one of the first junior events outside of London, Roundhay juniors and now we have a whole host of them running every week with more locations coming on board all the time.


I'm a passionate volunteer as you can see and am always amazed at the passion of other volunteers at our junior events. I remember the first time we ran the inaugural junior event at Temple Newsam and we had a lot of volunteers turn up from our Saturday parkrun, many of them without children. They just wanted to help out!

At Knavesmire juniors for our first event we had 152 runners taking part which was just fantastic to see. I love it when a community really embraces the event right from the off.


One thing I always make sure with any new junior parkrun is that we measure, measure, measure and measure it again and then once more just to be sure. It can be surprising how many different results a trundle wheel can produce when walking on the same loop!

We take the same care for our younger runners as we do for our 5k runners.

It’s not been all fun and games...

I remember meeting Paul Sinton-Hewitt for the very first time in Harrogate when I was supporting the startup of Harrogate juniors. This has now been running for nearly a year in the lovely Valley Gardens. I couldn't have been more nervous if I was meeting the Queen!

Those who know me will probably be surprised at that, but it’s true.

It's an exciting time and I'm looking forward to seeing all the junior events go from the strength to strength.



Ronnie Bray



I was sitting in the café after another successful junior parkrun morning, enjoying my coffee and thinking about the week ahead. Wouldn’t it be great if every day could start with a parkrun I thought? I bet lots of you think that too.

Anyway, I was wondering what I might write about for this newsletter and decided to canvass those around me for their lasting impressions of that particular morning. One word shone through – Comradeship.


I love this word and think it speaks volumes about my experience of parkrun world. Wherever I turn up to parkrun, there is always a friendly welcome. However, the more often I go to the same event, the more I feel part of that family and begin to build some lasting bonds. The comradeship that I noticed this weekend was twofold.

There was a little girl who ran with her brother at his first parkrun. They were at the back of the field but she did everything she could to help and support him to keep going when the going got tough. As they came towards the finish, other children joined her to clap him and cheer him in. He was a bit daunted by the funnel and hesitant to enter it but she reassured him and coaxed him along. Pure magic to watch. The great thing is that at junior parkrun, it’s not that rare. We can all quote examples of this. And we should. We can be really proud of our kids.


The second instance was the action of our regular first female finisher who always comes back to the finish line and encourages everyone else through to the finish. It is one of those things which she really doesn’t need to do but chooses to and it’s very much appreciated! Paul Graham, who started the very first junior parkrun in Bushy Park shared this model with me which he believes is the essence of juniors:

Pasted image at 2016_07_13 09_44 AM

Running is our doing.

Being is our volunteering as we be a part of our community.

Becoming is our change as we feel the changes that happen in our lives.

Belonging is the result.



Event Support and Activation Manager


Viva la volunteer!

Last month, I volunteered as a ‘Funnel Manager’ at Highbury Fields junior parkrun. This was my first time volunteering at a junior parkrun and I LOVED IT! It genuinely was so much fun, and really easy. I usually arrive at parkrun four minutes before the start, but because I was volunteering, I was there nice and early so I got a really good briefing from the Run Director and could ask lots of questions so I knew exactly what to do! I also got to chat to loads of young runners, and their parents/ big sisters/ uncles/ grandmas as they arrived.


Joining in the warm up made me laugh loads, and before I knew it they were off! After about 100 high-fives, I got in position, ready to help keep everyone in order as they passed through the finish funnel. I’ve done this on a Saturday, and believe me, the kids are way better behaved than the grown ups!


Afterwards, it was a quick pack away before we were off to a local café for a well-deserved hot chocolate and croissant… and I was still home before 11.

There are so many roles you can take on at a junior parkrun, from a nice, sedentary timekeeper to a more active tail runner. And heaps of roles that you can do as a family – there is nothing my two-year-old likes more than helping me with the ‘beepy scranning’ (barcode scanning!!).


When I went to Highbury Fields, we had just over 100 young runners, and 12 volunteers. And all of them played a vital role. It’s very simple; without volunteers, parkrun and junior parkrun couldn’t exist. My challenge to all of you is to volunteer in a new role before the end of the summer (or convince mum/ dad/ granny/ uncle to do it!). It’s super easy and will make you feel good all day. To sign up, either click on ‘future roster’ on your junior parkrun homepage (here’s the Highbury Fields one, yours will look very similar!) or chat to the run director.

What are you waiting for?!


Clare Fowler

Safeguarding Lead at parkrun UK

(thanks to Bruce Li for the brilliant photos)

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