What is RunPoll?

RunPoll is a volunteer run research group made up of social scientists with a love of running. We’re interested in studying running as a social phenomenon, and understanding its impact on individuals, communities and wider society.

This site grew out of Dr. Neil Baxter’s PhD research, a five year study of running culture that included a large scale survey of almost 3,000 runners and a series of in-depth interviews that explored running’s role as a source of meaning and identity in twenty-first century life.

As is so often the case with social research, the project generated more questions than answers. So RunPoll was born as a way to continue the research journey, and to bring its academic findings to a wider audience.

Our objectives and activities

Our mission is to increase understanding of running, and to use this knowledge to help increase participation and improve runners’ experiences in the sport.

To this end, we conduct survey and interview research to collect runners’ opinions, learn about their experiences and build our knowledge of how and why people run. We’re interested in what stops people running too – what barriers prevent some people from taking part and why certain social groups are underrepresented in the sport.

Through published reports, articles and presentations we pass this knowledge on to partners at clubs, associations and event organisers to help them make better decisions about how to shape running in ways that best serve runners themselves.

Contact details

Dr. Neil Baxter
Lead Researcher