Urban Events – How Far Do People Travel?

Intrigued by a comment on the Nopesport forums suggesting that local clashes rather than a very major international clash were the thinking behind the scheduling of a future urban event, I thought I would do some analysis of how far people travel to races, using my stats database of results.

To do this, I’ve excluded (a) people listed with a club of “IND”, “None” or “” (probably local non-orienteers), (b) people in non-geographical clubs (e.g. RAFO, AROS), as it’s difficult to pinpoint where they travelled from, and (c) clubs with less than 100 runs in the 3 or so years the events database runs back for – this leaves 113 clubs, the largest being BOK with 8534 runs. The latter exclusion also excludes most foreign clubs, although a number do make it through – particularly Irish ones. I’ve also assumed that remaining people live in the centroid of their club’s area of influence – which is “guesstimated” by me based on the name of the club. I’ve also assumed that the event, put on by the club, also takes place in the centroid of that club’s area of influence.

Anyway, here’s where everyone* travelled from to get to the Edinburgh City Race in January 2012:

…and for comparison, here’s where people came from to go to the London City Race in September 2012:

…and York’s City Race in June 2012:

…and everyone (& their dog) went to Aberystwyth in July 2012 for the biggest urban race ever in the UK:

None of these maps are normalised to each other – thickness directly corresponds to the number of people.

Tobler’s Law in full effect for these races, of course, but also showing a decent amount of long distance travel to London and Edinburgh. For Aberystwyth, everyone was already there for the rest of the Welsh 6 Days event.

Finally, for a bit of fun, here are the events that I (and also my namesake in Devon!) have been to in the last three or so years:

* Bearing in mind the filters outlined at the top of the post.

Background imagery courtesy of OpenStreetMap contributors.

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