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Transcending quests for 'authentic' human experience: An empirical comparison of endurance walking and running

Millions of people spend a considerable portion of their leisure time running or hiking ever longer distances. Not only heritage walks and running festivals but also thru-hikes and ultra-trails are becoming more and more popular. Are ‘serious’ long-distance runners and hikers on a kind of ‘pilgrimage’, expecting that the bodily exercise and physical endurance will not only lead to health benefits but also help them achieve some ‘authentic’ experience and fulfilment? This pioneering collaborative research will study, empirically, what is at stake in these embodied practices and mobilities and what this tells us about wider societal trends. Attention will be given both to runners and hikers and to the role of public authorities, commercial actors and voluntary associations.
Date:1 Oct 2018  →  Today
Keywords:anthropology, endurance, walking, running, movement sciences