Time certainly does fly. It was 6 years ago that the very first Bushy junior parkrun took place. There were nine runners on the first event. There have been a few changes over time but the principles remain the same. A free, 2k event for 4-14 year-olds. The aim is to offer something to the experienced club athlete, to a new runner low on fitness or the more vulnerable children that have difficulty accessing and engaging in community activity.
The event has needed to change as new challenges arose that needed to be managed. But one thing that has not changed is the willingness and enthusiasm of the amazing volunteer team over the years.
I had the task of taking the pre-run briefing. It is the very serious part to keep everyone safe, but it gives us a chance to applaud the volunteers for all their expertise and time. Then a few bits of information, such as no barcode no result, no parents in the finish funnel, don't take tokens home, be courteous to other park users, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!
This month we had 230 runners of all ages, experience and abilities taking part. It is such a pleasure to watch the endless stream of runners flow by with such enthusiastic and positive support from their families.
After the run there was a bit of time to award three runners who had achieved their 'half-marathon' milestone with their well earned wristbands and I had a few minutes to take a few photos for the Facebook page.
Everything went nice and smoothly and the volunteer team were soon packing the kit away and heading to the coffee shop for a chat and to process the results.
There are nearly 100 junior parkruns to choose from in the UK now and this Sunday we had well over 6,000 junior park runners in total. Although that sounds like a lot of runners it is really just the early days of something really special and inspirational, and we are just lucky to be part of it.