From social interactions to interpersonal relationships: Influences on ultra-runners’ race experience

Autoři: Brian Harman aff001;  Céline Kosirnik aff002;  Roberta Antonini Philippe aff002
Působiště autorů: Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom aff001;  Institut des Sciences du Sport, Faculté des Sciences Sociales et Politiques, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article



Ultra-running’s psychological and physiological dimensions have been widely studied. However, the social dimensions of ultra-racing have been largely overlooked. This study aims to identify the different types of social interactions that occur during a multi-day, ultra-race and to understand how these interactions influence ultra-runners’ race experience.


Athletes competing in Britain’s “Spine Race” were recruited for the current study. Twelve male runners aged between 32 and 66 years (M = 50; SD = 10.01) followed the qualitative protocol designed for the study. Specifically, each participant completed a modified version of the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) instrument and underwent a post-race, self-confrontation interview. Participants were asked to recall and reconstruct their memories about their (a) actions (e.g., What did you do when you encountered other people?); (b) thoughts (e.g., What were your thoughts when you encountered other people?) and (c) feelings (e.g., What were your feelings when you encountered other people?).


The results show that social interactions and interpersonal relationships are common in ultra-races. Different groups of people play an important role in racers’ motivation and goal achievement: fellow racers, volunteers, medics, friends and family, and even the general public. The resulting social interactions and relationships can occur before, during and after the race in both online and offline environments. These social influences have a powerful influence on the athlete’s race experience.


The vast majority of social interactions reported by runners had a positive effect on their race experience and often led to interpersonal relationships. Ultra-runners should be mindful of the impact that social interactions and relationships can have in shaping their race experience.

Klíčová slova:

Emotions – Facebook – Interpersonal relationships – Memory recall – Social influence – Social media – Social research – Sports


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2019 Číslo 12
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