Upcoming Talk in Bristol on Run-Commuting

When: 12:30 – 14:00 20 April 2015

Where: Centre for Transport & Society, University of the West of England

What about: An overview of my research into run-commuting

Can I attend: This is not a public talk. It may be possible but ask those at the CTS

On Monday I am heading across to Bristol to give a seminar at the Centre for Transport &  Society at the University of the West of England. It will closely follow the structure and arguments of the talk I gave last month at LSHTM, and as such, will be an overview of why I am studying run-commuting, the research to date, the plans for the future, and what I see as the value of studying run-commuting.

This talk is entitled Running as transport: a research agenda’ and will go, just slightly, beyond run-commuting itself as I will briefly discuss my research into running in a train station for the first time. I am hugely looking forward to this: I admire greatly the work that comes out of the CTS and as a collective, they are the transport geographers who have inspired me most.

As ever, I’ll endeavour to share any slides / recordings – although I getting a bit of a backlog now. Must do an update soon! But in the meantime, the abstract for my talk is below:

At its core, running is about the traversal of space and locational displacement. Yet, contemporary discourses around running entail that its form of movement falls within the registers of sport, leisure and fitness rather than within transport. However, running is used as a means of transport in huge, but unrecognised quantities – both involuntarily, in the case of running for a train, and intentionally, in the case of run-commuting. Run-commuting is a practice emerging in many ‘developed’ cities across the world, in which people are choosing to lace up their trainers in order to run to/from work. In many ways it is a curious and difficult practice to pin down and understand; traversing the boundaries of sport, leisure, fitness and transport. Yet it is this slippery nature, the ability to defy distinct categorisation, which makes it such an interesting and valuable topic to study. Run-commuting not only provides insights into emerging transport practices, but challenges, stretches and asks us to look once again at some of our understandings of, and conceptualisations within transport, sport, running and mobility.

This seminar seeks to provide an agenda for understanding running as transport. It will provide an initial overview of the practice by adopting a Cresswellian understanding of mobility; grappling simultaneously with the brute facts, representations and experiences of run-commuting to make an initial assessment of its potential as a transport mode. From this, I will outline the intended trajectory of the project as it continues and grows: detailing the frameworks I will use, questions I will ask, methodological choices, and outcomes I hope to achieve. The seminar will conclude with a few points regarding what I deem to be the value of engaging with run-commuting and similar practices for the study of transport.

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