PtG Article 16.03.2015

New book about running in Europe

In a new book, scientists explore the phenomenon of running. With an outset in eleven different countries, the book looks into the historical and societal issues that have made running so popular, and what possibilities the market holds.

The book ‘Running across Europe’ presents a cross-national approach to the phenomenon of running. Each chapter in the book, takes its outset in a European country, and examines how running has become the number one leisure activity in Europe with an estimated 50 million runners.

With contributions from different researchers across Europe, the book analyses data from more than eleven European countries and looks into areas such as participation, policy making, health and economy of running while also presenting challenges and opportunities that are to be found in the running market.

The volume is edited by Jeroen Scheerder, associated professor at the University of Leuven, Belgium and Koen Breedveld, professor at the Mulier Institutes in Holland.

Both Scheerder and Breedveld were present at Play the Game 2013 where several of the book contributors took part in a series of discussions under the title ‘Europe on the run’.

Audios from the sessions can be found here:

Europe on the run I

Europe on the run II

Content of ‘Running across Europe’:

  1. Who is Doing a Run with the Running Boom? The Growth and Governance of one of Europe's most Popular Sport Activities; Jeroen Scheerder, Koen Breedveld and Julie Borgers
  2. Belgium (Flanders): Trends and Governance in Running; Julie Borgers, Steven Vos and Jeroen Scheerder
  3. Denmark: Running for the sake of Running? A Profile and Segmentation of Runners; Peter Forsberg
  4. England: the Governance and History of Running, the Decision to Run, and Trends in Running Participation; Andrew Spiers, Spencer Harris, Angela Charlton and Peter Smale
  5. Finland: from Elite Running to Mass Running Events; Hanna Vehmas and Jukka Lahti
  6. Germany: Running Participation, Motivation and Images; Kirstin Hallmann, Christoph Breuer and Sören Dallmeyer
  7. Greece: Mass Running, a New Trend from Ancient Times?; Leonidas Petridis
  8. Hungary: the Popularisation and Expansion of Amateur Running Culture; Szilvia Perényi
  9. The Netherlands: Rising Participation Rates, Shifting Segments; Paul Hover, Harold van der Werff and Koen Breedveld
  10. Slovenia: the Case of Ljubljana Marathon Participants; Mojca Doupona Topic and Samo Rauter
  11. Spain: a Sociological Analysis of the Evolution and Characteristics of Running; Ramon Llopig-Goig and Anna Vilanova
  12. Running across Europe: the Way Forward; Koen Breedveld, Jeroen Scheerder and Julie Borgers

More information


Read more about the book Running across Europe

Download a short description of the book