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.