Motivations, Limitations, and Guilt: Women who Marathon

By Jenny Lendrum.

Published by Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 2, 2015 $US5.00

The purpose of this research is to explore women’s experiences as marathoners. Through in-depth interviews and the use of an existing survey tool (MOMS survey ), I explore the motivations and limitations of twenty black and white American women marathon runners. This study focuses on women who run recreationally and not competitively. The women in the study run for multiple and evolving motivations including health & fitness, mental health, problem solving, the social component of running, goal achievement, competition, and lastly, freedom and empowerment. They also experience gendered constraints and feelings of guilt associated with their participation in the sport. Because black women who run recreationally are noticeably absent from existing research, my study helps to fill the gap in the literature by analyzing and comparing this group of women’s experiences and perceptions of their participation in marathon running.

Keywords: Female Athletes, Running, Race, Gender, Motivations, Limitations, Guilt

Journal of Sporting Cultures and Identities, Volume 6, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 2, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 360.276KB)).

Jenny Lendrum

PhD Student/Graduate Teaching Assistant, Sociology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA