A Typology of Marathon Runners Based on Cluster Analysis of Motivations

Ogles, Benjamin M.; Masters, Kevin S.
March 2003
Journal of Sport Behavior;Mar2003, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p69
Academic Journal
Despite significant personal and financial costs many people participate in marathon races each rear Since the level of fitness and endurance required to complete a marathon far exceed the minimum requirement for cardiorespiratory fitness, many investigators have studied the motives of long-distance runners. Due to instrumental and methodological difficulties, however, previous studies were not able to provide statistically derived groupings of marathon runners based on motives. In this study, it was hypothesized that marathon runners are heterogeneous in terms of their motives for running and that definable subgroups could be identified. Multivariate cluster analysis showed that the 1519 participants formed 5 definable groups that were named.' Running Enthusiasts, Lifestyle Managers, Personal Goal Achievers, Personal Accomplishers, and Competitive Achievers. Differences among these groups were discovered on several demographic, training, and performance variables, confirming the significance of the groupings. Personal rather than social or competitive reasons were endorsed most often across all groups.


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