chapter  11
17 Pages

Research on the run

Moving methods and the charity ‘thon’
WithCatherine Palmer

The chapter reflects what Giardina and Newman describe as the 'confluence of the embodied self and the [auto]ethnographic self as it relates to the conduct of inquiry' and it is grounded, empirically, in a broader project on 'fitness philanthropy' and the growth of charity fun runs and similar mass participation events or 'thons' in Australia. The impetus for the chapter stems from a wider research project that is exploring the emergence of 'fitness philanthropy'. While the politics of civic fitness or fitness philanthropy are addressed elsewhere, it is important to note that since the mid-1980s, physical activity-based fund raising events have grown apace worldwide. Data collection involved video-interviews with runners during the weekly training sessions and then at the Mother's Day Classic, as well as observations of and reflections on both the training runs and the Mother's Day Classic. Broadly speaking, 'embodied ethnography' refers to the idea that ethnographic experiences are 'embodied'.