The "Marais Running Club" in Paris
An ethnography of leisure running

Running is conquering the world. Whether for wellness, balance, performance, or even just letting off steam and getting away from it all, the virtues of running conveniently echo the wishes of our time while alleviating its ills. So, is running merely a fad or a social phenomenon?

Without missing a beat, teams from Méthos have donned their sneakers and gone running with enthusiasts in Spain, France and China to conduct a study in support of the international development of the Kalenji brand.

Running today bears no resemblance to the competitive sport it was at first. It is now democratic, convenient, and anyone can enjoy it, whatever their level, just about anywhere. For practitioners, it is clearly the ultimate hassle-free sport: “a pair of trainers and you’re all set to go.”  Yet paradoxically, the hobby is often brought about by necessity – a midlife crisis, obesity, depression – rather than by desire. “At first, you have to push yourself really hard.” And then the habit sets in and starts regulating routines. Running sets the pace for everyday life.

An escape for some, a stress-reliever for others, and even sometimes an opportunity to meet others, too! "because, when sweating together, barriers fall" – the benefits of running seem to resonate on many levels in the lives of practitioners.

In China, running is developing in synch with the country’s middle class. It denotes a modern mindset, symbolises independence and reflects growing mindfulness after the binge on luxury goods. Running is promoted individually and collectively, and social networks are abuzz with it.
In a nutshell, it blends beautifully into our zeitgeist. So keep running!

Bnp Paribas Fortis
Centre Pompidou
Chalhoub Group
Galeries Lafayette
Richemont Group