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parkruns closest together

Tue 14th November 2017

I’m doing some work on making the parkrun New Year’s Day Double Finder a little easier to work with (for me) and a little more useful (for you, assuming you’re a parkrunner looking for a New Year’s Day double).

When running the script, I noticed a few of the driving time calculations coming back as zero. “Presumably I’m being rate limited by the Google Maps API”, I think to myself. Then it dawns on me: why am I requesting this information from Google Maps every time I run the script? The driving time between two places is relatively stable (and I’m going to disregard traffic in this instance, as the morning of 1st January is fairly quiet on the roads, and the scope of this tool is just to provide an estimate).

The sensible solution to this is to pre-calculate the distances and driving times between all parkruns, then my Double Finder script can just look it up as necessary. So that is what I am working on at the moment (aside from job hunting).

As I was working on this, I realised it made most sense to start by calculating the driving time between parkruns closest together, as they’re most likely to fall into the category of “possibly double locations” (presuming they are open on 1st January, and don’t choose to start at the same time). Having done this, I can now answer the question, “Which two parkruns are closest to each other?“:

Country parkrun parkrun Distance apart
gb Brighton & Hove Preston Park 1.68 km
gb Richmond Park Old Deer Park 1.69 km
gb Dulwich Peckham Rye 1.82 km
gb Stretford Sale Water 1.86 km
ie Father Collins Darndale 1.90 km
za Alberts Farm Westbury 1.99 km
au Broadbeach Waters Surfers Paradise 2.04 km
gb Brockwell Dulwich 2.06 km
gb Brighton & Hove Hove Promenade 2.13 km
ie Tymon Bushy Dublin 2.15 km

(Flag icons courtesy of https://github.com/hjnilsson/country-flags)

It turns out it’s a very close run contest between Brighton & Hove/Preston Park, and Richmond Park/Old Deer Park. In fact, all of the top 10 are quite close to each other, all less than 1 parkun (5km) away. (In fact there are currently 187 pairs of parkruns that are less than 5km apart).

These distances are “as the crow flies”, having been calculated using the haversine formula using the latitude and longitude of each of the parkruns, performed by a combination of a Python script and some SQL.

Hopefully that was some interesting parkrun trivia. As I’m working on the Double Finder, I’ll see if I can dig out some other tidbits. If there’s any stats you’re interested in knowing, why not post them in the comments below?

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