I think run-commuting is really interesting idea and a great provocation for academic ideas of transport, mobility and running. I was however, less sure about how much purchase the idea (and research) would have with those involved in transport and whose jobs involves planning and managing transport currently and for the future. A couple of recent occurrences have suggested perhaps it will.
JMP Transport Consultancy
An old undergraduate friend from my Plymouth days, Simon Le Good, recently contacted me in his capacity as a transport consultant for JMP. He had been asked to give a Lunchtime Briefing and I was thrilled he wanted to draw on my research, and I dare say his own experiences, to take run-commuting as his theme. I am really looking forward to hearing the feedback from those in the business of transport, especially with an eye towards planning how the project will take form over the next couple of years. In preparation for Simon’s Briefing he has written a little article for JMP under the website section Future Thinking, which is very pleasing. His article is titled: RUNNING AS TRANSPORT: THE EMERGENCE OF RUN COMMUTING.
University of Manchester Run-Commuting Scheme
Secondly, I have turned a hand to quasi-transport-consultant myself. I was contacted by Helen Frost, a Microbiology PhD Student at Manchester and an avid run-commuter, who had heard of the research and was approaching the University with an idea to start up a run-commuting scheme. Well one thing led to another and the Sustainable Transport Manager at the University was enamoured with the idea and there are talks afoot to set up a whole run-commuting strategy. Helen has been very kind and invited me to act as a form of external consultant, drawing on the research to make suggestions of what could be useful in encouraging and facilitating the practice. I will hopefully use this as a case-study in the PhD and it is a very exciting opportunity to experiment and put the research into action, not something we do enough as human geographers. As far as I’m aware, this will be the first university (and possibly large organisation) in the world to implement such a thing and it’s a thrill that my work will have a role in not only inspiring the idea but in seeing it through. I should be heading up to Manchester in January for the first meeting so more to come I’m sure.