Is inaugural parkrun tourism really a thing?

With all the chatter about inaugural tourism recently, I’ve been wondering just how big a thing inaugural parkrun tourism is.

So I’ve been doing some digging.

As it’s a time-consuming process involving a lot of copying and pasting, I haven’t been digging systematically. (There are probably quicker ways for people with IT skills or access to the parkrun database.  I have neither).  What I have done is look at five parkruns that I’ve visited (four of them on the inaugural).

The five parkruns in question are:

  • Southwick Country Park (started 3 September 2011)
  • Lincoln (started 16 November 2013)
  • Woking (started 16 August 2014)
  • Horsham (started 6 September 2014)
  • Banbury (started 27 September 2014).

I chose Woking and Horsham because they started at similar times and are similar distances from London; Southwick Country Park and Lincoln because they were relatively far from any other parkruns and a fair distance from London; and Banbury simply because I was there this week.

What I was looking at was how many people who visited in the early weeks have visited only once, how many only twice and how many three times or more.  For Southwick Country Park and Lincoln, I’ve used data from the first 20 runs, for Woking, Horsham and Banbury, I’ve used all the available data (12 runs, 9 runs and 6 runs respectively).

Southwick Country Park

Inaugural southwick


Inaugural lincoln


Inaugural woking


Inaugural horsham


Inaugural banbury

Is inaugural tourism really a thing?

I think it probably is.

*EDIT* Andrew Lawrence mentioned Osterley, which started on 31 August 2013.


Inaugural osterley


About abradypus

A Bradypus or Sloth am I, I live a life of ease, contented not to do or die but idle as I please; ... [Michael Flanders and Donald Swann]
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3 Responses to Is inaugural parkrun tourism really a thing?

  1. plustenner says:

    great graphs 🙂

  2. Sean Price ED Southwick Country parkrun says:

    the reason I think our parkrun bucks the trend is that when we started inaugural parkrun tourism was not so popular we had a few, including Louise 🙂

  3. Norm says:

    I wonder if it’s always the same people. I mean, I know there’s a fairly hardcore group (which I drift in and out of seasonally) but that group doesn’t account for 200+ hitting Osterley in week one and never coming back. I wonder if it’s partially the inaugural hunters and partially runners from nearby parkruns wanting to support their new siblings? I also wonder if the inaugural hunters have regional chapters?

    The whole explosion of conversation (and some quite un-parkrun-like comments) around this topic make me fear that we’re about to enter a challenging period of tension between new parkruns starting (which as a community we wholeheartedly support and love) and people (yes, people like me) trying to find out where they are so we can try a new course, clap some new volunteers, and strike another notch on the inaugural bed-post (for as long as that particular bed-post remains published).

    I hope it all turns out nicely because I bloody love parkrun, and I love all the parks and places I’ve found as a result – yes, even if I have only been to many of them once.

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