In his seminal text Sports Geography, John Bale underscores the powerladen relationship between sport and space. This chapter probes this relationship of struggle and the complex interplays between sport, space, and power through the sport of running. We focus on sporting bodies themselves, their in situ struggles for space in the shared urban realm, and their implications for how citizenship is practiced and understood. This is a case study of running in Plymouth and speciﬁcally the mundane micromovements involved in passing pedestrians in the street. We have already presented some of this work elsewhere (Cook et al. 2015), but here we further unpack the conceptual ideas involved in analyzing such everyday encounters to shed light on sport’s place in contemporary cities and how sporting bodies ﬁt into public spaces in England. Admittedly, this is not the context Bale had in mind when he penned the opening statement. Rather, he is referring to the struggle to master space: to neutralize, specialize, and rationalize space in order to establish the spatial limitations and spatial rules of sports (Bale 2003). This was the foundation of his pioneering arguments about the critical relationship between sport and space, and the need for a sport geography prepared to study it. Sporting spatialities, he argued, govern and deﬁne. A game of doubles lawn tennis, for example, is not a game of tennis unless the ground is ﬂat; a court of 23.77 meters long and 10.97 meters wide is demarcated; halves, services boxes, center-marks, baselines, side-lines, and centerlines are marked in the proper width (AELTCC 2014). Sport requires a permissible geography to take place and this, in turn, requires a particular mastery of space. Our appropriation of Bale’s statement may then seem a little awry, but at their core, his arguments demonstrate how space is involved in the
production and organization of sport and how, likewise, sport is involved in the production and organization of space. For him, sport geography is about the symbiotic relationship between the spaces of sport and those who participate in it, and the socio-political signiﬁcance of such sport-spaces. These are our interests too, which we extend beyond achievement sport to everyday sport, from dedicated sport-spaces to appropriated shared spaces, and from macro-politics to micro-politics. Ultimately, though, this chapter is concerned with the same co-constitutive entanglement of sport, space, and power laid out in Bale’s vision of sport geography. Taking these themes out of specialized sport-spaces and into the “wild” running spaces of public streets raises new questions about this entanglement in terms not only of where runners ﬁt spatially and socially into the streetscape, but also with regard to the wider notion of their citizenship.