The great suburban everest: An ‘insiders’ perspective on experiences at the 2007 flora London marathon

This source preferred by Richard Shipway and Ian Jones

Authors: Shipway, R. and Jones, I.

http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all?content=10.1080/14775080801972213

Journal: Journal of Sport & Tourism

Volume: 13

Pages: 61-77

ISSN: 1477-5085

DOI: 10.1080/14775080801972213

Using the concepts of serious leisure and social identification, this paper explores the experiences of 'serious' participants travelling to take part in the 2007 Flora London Marathon (FLM). An ethnographic research design was utilised using a combination of interviews, observation and participant observation. Data collection commenced four months prior to the Marathon and involved monitoring the experiences of participants, all of whom viewed their activity as a 'serious leisure' pursuit (Stebbins, 1992). This was followed up with a number of semi-structured interviews with participants in the two-week period after the event. The key finding was the strength of identification that participants had with the activity of running. The salience of this identity was heightened by the act of travel to, and residence in, London both before and after the marathon. A number of themes emerged from the data that were seen as consequences of this sense of identification, these being the unique ethos, language and behaviours of participants, the need for significant personal effort to complete the event, the perseverance of participants in the activity, both in terms of training and competing, the durable benefits obtained by the runners through participation, and the 'career structure' associated with distance running. Participants also followed behaviours prescribed by a particular prototype associated with the running subculture, resulting in homogeneity of dress, behaviour and values amongst the group.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Richard, S. and Jones, I.

Journal: Journal of Sport and Tourism

Volume: 13

Issue: 1

Pages: 61-77

eISSN: 1029-5399

ISSN: 1477-5085

DOI: 10.1080/14775080801972213

Using the concepts of serious leisure and social identification, this paper explores the experiences of ‘serious’ participants travelling to take part in the 2007 Flora London Marathon (FLM). An ethnographic research design was utilised using a combination of interviews, observation and participant observation. Data collection commenced four months prior to the Marathon and involved monitoring the experiences of participants, all of whom viewed their activity as a ‘serious leisure’ pursuit (Stebbins, 1992). This was followed up with a number of semi-structured interviews with participants in the two-week period after the event. The key finding was the strength of identification that participants had with the activity of running. The salience of this identity was heightened by the act of travel to, and residence in, London both before and after the marathon. A number of themes emerged from the data that were seen as consequences of this sense of identification, these being the unique ethos, language and behaviours of participants, the need for significant personal effort to complete the event, the perseverance of participants in the activity, both in terms of training and competing, the durable benefits obtained by the runners through participation, and the ‘career structure’ associated with distance running. Participants also followed behaviours prescribed by a particular prototype associated with the running subculture, resulting in homogeneity of dress, behaviour and values amongst the group. © 2008 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

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