The Uber Tourist – parkrun 50 in 50

If you are here you have either seen my post because I have visited your parkrun, or you have heard about what I am doing through word of mouth, but what am I actually doing? I’m going to explain this here so that the posts below make a little sense and maybe it will inspire you to do something similar or to visit one of the fantastic courses I have already been to.

THE CHALLENGE:

When I first started running parkrun, I was on a short work visit in Sydney, Australia (even though I had registered 6 months earlier), so I initially decided that I wanted to run the 3 different courses that were hosted in Sydney at the time as I did not believe I would return and wanted to see what they were all like.

On the day of the third run, I was talking to a friend while running and they were explaining more about the parkrun world and told me about the different ‘clubs’ you can reach and the shirts you get for reaching them. As this was my third run and the third different course I asked if anyone had got to the 50 Club at 50 different courses – and so it was that this became my own challenge!

UPDATE: As of 13/02/2016 I have finished my challenge and entered the 50 Club at 50 different courses! My challenge now is 100 Club in 100 different courses!

THE BLOG:

As well as doing the challenge, I have been writing this blog to ‘review’ and give information about the different courses that may not be immediately obvious from the course description on the parkrun website so as to help other people get a feel for the event before they even go. This is obviously just a personal opinion of the one specific day I am there, however I try to include all sorts of information to help people along – such as course maps, elevation profiles, park and location information links, parkrun Facebook page links and other small tit-bits of information that I decide to write on the day.

I am not a writer by trade, nor do I have any affiliation to the parkrun brand, this is purely just me writing how I feel about the places I run. Some people may like what I do, others may not but this is intended to be a supporting site to help people decide on where to go or to just give them something to read about how I felt running at their course (I send the review to the event team once it is published so that they can see the write-up).

OTHER ‘UBER TOURISTS’:

When I first started this I was the only person at the time to be doing it and it had only been done by one other person before me (Roderick Hoffman – who had since visited some parkruns again). However since my move from the UK to Australia, parkruns have been fewer and far between than the UK so the speed at which I am picking up new courses has dwindled somewhat. This has meant that others have been able to both catch and surpass me in this challenge (I assume without knowledge of this, they just had the same epiphany moment as me!)

In the spirit of parkrun, well done to you all for getting there before me or being ahead of me in this charge. It was never really the challenge to be the first, rather just to achieve it for myself, so it takes nothing away from what I am trying to do.

Based on the Most Events table, below are the current ‘Uber Tourists’ (with a course to run ratio of 1:1):

Also a shout out also goes to the following, who are close to 1:1 ratios:

I have no idea if any of the people listed will ever see this site, but congrats all and keep up the good travelling!

TOURISM CLUBS:

As anyone who knows parkrun is aware, parkrun has what it likes to call ‘Clubs’ – The 10 Club (Juniors only), The 50 Club, The 100 Club, The 250 Club and The 500 Club – each one unofficially awarded, with the reward being a shirt for reaching the representative number of runs for example.

In addition to the ‘normal’ clubs though a number of other clubs were created during the reign of The parkrun Show podcast for parkrun tourism – most notably The Half Cowell Club (50 different events), The Cowell Club (100 different events) – named after Chris Cowell who was the first person to run at 100 different events, and then more recently The Freyne Club (250 different events) – again named after the first person to run at 250 different events, Paul Freyne.

In the same vein, I have unofficially decided to coin names for clubs for ‘Uber Tourists’ using the same method, so I will now refer to 50 events in 50 runs as The Hoffman Club (named after Roderick Hoffman) and 100 events in 100 runs as The Bailey Club (named after Gregory Bailey).

So in summary I believe there to be the following clubs available to all parkrunners:

  • The 10 Club (Juniors only) – For running 10 parkruns (T-Shirt – White)
  • The 50 Club – For running 50 parkruns (T-Shirt – Red)
  • The Half-Cowell Club – For running 50 different parkrun courses
  • The Hoffman Club – For running 50 different parkrun courses in 50 parkruns
  • The 100 Club – For running 100 parkruns (T-Shirt – Black)
  • The Cowell Club – For running 100 different parkrun courses
  • The Bailey Club – For running 100 different parkrun courses in 100 parkruns
  • The 250 Club – For running 250 parkruns (T-Shirt – Green)
  • The Freyne Club – For running 250 different parkrun courses
  • The 500 Club – For running 500 parkruns (T-Shirt – Blue)
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7 responses to “The Uber Tourist – parkrun 50 in 50

  1. Hi Ashley,

    Just found your blog, though as one of the other ‘Uber tourists’, I’ve been aware of your tourism for a while now.

    Curiously, we’re both writing about our experiences. About 2/3 of my parkruns have posted my report on their news page, so effectively I’m blogging by proxy.

    Looks like a big weekend ahead. Gregory Bailey should go 100/100 and I expect Morgan Daniels will move ahead of me – we both reached 47 last week.

    Keep up the good work.
    Best wishes,
    Nigel Harding

    • Wow, I genuinely never thought that any of the other ‘Uber Tourists’ would know or find out about the blog, fantastic to hear from you!

      Great to hear you are also writing about it, feel free to send me the link and I will put it up on here and take a look though it myself, would be fantastic to hear what you thought about some of the courses that we have both done (I think there are a few we overlap on).

      I have been keeping a keen eye on Gregory Bailey’s results, I previously shouted out to him on the former ‘parkrun Show’ podcast when he reached 50, shame that forum no longer exists but perhaps will have to get in touch with parkrun UK on Facebook for this one as it is a milestone worth shouting about. He will definitely be the first person to have done it, so it shall henceforth be known as ‘The Bailey Club’!

      Great to hear from you, and thanks, maybe we shall cross paths and both be at the same event at some point down the line, although I know that the odds become ever shorter each week 🙂

      • Hi Ashley,

        We’ve shared four parkrun venues, but by far the most appropriate link to send you is Graves parkrun, Sheffield:
        http://www.parkrun.org.uk/graves/news/2013/10/

        The website is archived in monthly blocks, so you have to scroll right to the bottom of the block to find my article. Interesting we both mention the steepness of the soccer pitches.

        Gregory Bailey completed his ‘100 in 100′ at Fulham Palace parkrun in London, last Saturday, with Morgan Daniels going ’48 in 48′ at the same venue. (I’ve notified parkrun UK.)

        Spurred by the challenge, I ran at Northampton, but expect he’ll beat me to ’50 in 50’, so please be ready to swap the order in which we appear on your home page.

        I’m not really an uber-Tourist in the global sense that you are. I have an old running mate in Melbourne, but I’ve never made the trip. If we meet, it will have to be in Yorkshire.

        Not sure how this works. If you’re able to see my e-mail address, then I’d be delighted if you’d contact me privately.

        Best wishes,
        Nigel

  2. How curious to find oneself being discussed!

    I guess what I would like to say here is that if parkrun is most resolutely not a race, neither is parkrun tourism. I did notice that I managed to sneak in front of you yesterday, Nigel, but this is surely the friendliest of friendly competition. What’s more, your own parkrun adventures are far ‘purer’ than my own — I happen to live in London & as such over half of my unique runs have been in the capital. By contrast you’re all over the place! (That said: I don’t drive, & getting to most of the London venues in time requires a bigger effort than getting to, say, Preston Park.)

    Anyway, I think we can agree that all of us here are desperately sick individuals. We need help, for sure, but it’s most likely too late. Certainly Gregory Bailey, who has been a very good friend of mine since before either of us even started running, let alone parkrunning, is long gone.

    My fiftieth, this coming Saturday, is at Brockwell Park. Fancy it? Email-wise I’m morgandaniels at gmail dot com.

    cheers
    M

    • Great to hear from you Morgan! I can only imagine how odd it is to find yourself being discussed, but at least it is in the congratulatory and positive manner!

      You are absolutely right though, parkrun Tourism is even more arbitrary than parkrun results and only actually means anything to each of us individually as these are all our own internal ‘challenges’. We have probably all had to explain to bemused friends, family and even fellow parkrunners about what we are doing without sounding like someone who needs some kind of treatment (Tim Oberg – parkrun Australia GM even said to me once “Oh, you’re one of *those*” – haha). I personally just like running different events now and meeting all of the different event teams, it has become second nature, but it is great to see other people doing the same thing!

      I feel your pain on public transport now though, I used to have a car in the UK which made it a lot easier to get around but I now wholly rely on public transport or lifts from other people, it definitely makes it more of a challenge! I suppose your consolation though is the sheer number of runs in the capital – I am pretty sure you could reach 50 purely within the M25? I might be wrong though!

      Shame I am not able to get to Brockwell Park to celebrate with you (even I think a 24 hour flight is a bit much for a parkrun :)) but hope you have a great day and enjoy the shirt when you get it – you deserve it!

      All the best!

  3. Hello Ashley,
    What an excellent blog, I will read up on your thoughts on my local parkruns Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Pontefract and Sheffield Graves and Concord. I live halfway between Leeds and Sheffield which is a very good place for a parkrun tourist; as you know there are a lot of them around here. Sheffield Concord is one of my least favourite parkruns – I did it on a bleak March day with a hangover AND a cold. At Dewsbury I have never done the proper course – I did it on an icy day and it was a six lap round of the top half of the course. Chaos.

    It was good to do my 100th last week, and I was pleased to manage it on Aug 1st as planned last Christmas. It was a good occasion – Morgan Daniels came along and so did Roderick Hoffman and other friends, and, having chosen a nice flat one lots of us got our best parkrun times which was nice. I only made it to 100 thanks to Roderick – I was going to retire at 50 but he wrote to me on facebook and told me his old record was 51 and suggested meeting up when I would pass it, which we did at the very difficult Lyme Park parkrun. He encouraged me to push on for 100, which has proved rather less difficult than I expected. It helps that I live in West Yorkshire, my mother lives in London and I travel a lot with work.

    I had contemplated retiring at 100 but, with other people on my heels, have decided to carry on a bit, I don’t want to make it too easy for Morgan, Nigel and you – so my new plan is to complete Yorkshire and the East Midlands before hanging up my touring boots. I’m actually further away from that goal than I was six months ago – even after doing Horton Park parkrun (Bradford) yesterday, I am still left with 6 in Yorkshire and 4 in East Midlands to do. Next weekend I’m going to Brockwell to take the fizzy wine along for Morgan’s 50th. Then it will be Congleton, then Gainsborough, then Montacute when I’m down in Dorset for the steam rally.

    I will probably continue with the manic tourism until the New Year and a total of 120 or so, though I have to say I’m looking forward to redoing some favourites like Huddersfield, Wakefield, Pontefract and Rother Valley and trying to beat my previous times. And it might be nice not to have to get up so early every Saturday too!

    Its nice to get a chance to catch up with others following the same difficult path – I will keep on reading!

    • Thanks Gregory, I am glad you like it.

      You are actually pretty much based in my old stomping ground then, I used to live about 1 or 2 miles from Rother Valley, so I fully understand why that is on your list of repeats should you get round to it! Because of our close proximity, I should imagine that we share quite a number of courses in our back catalogue so would be great to hear your thoughts on some of those.

      Interesting that you call out Concord as your least favourite, I definitely agree that it was tough but I can’t think what course would be my least favourite (I know it sounds twee, but I’m not sure I have one?). If I remember Concord correctly I ran that before then heading to play football afterwards so I don’t think I took it too seriously, but I do remember it being a hilly course. Then again, that’s about par for any course in Yorkshire, especially a course in Sheffield!

      I did wonder if you would reach 100 and carry on or ‘retire’ and do repeats, I have often thought about what number I shall feel like I would give up and at the moment I just don’t know if I could bring myself to do it – let me know if you struggle and need some kind of ‘tourism-patch’ to quit or you go cold turkey!

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