Running events in Polish forests in the opinion of their participants

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Abstract

The article presents the results of a questionnaire survey aimed at determining social preferences in relation to running as a form of active leisure time in forests. These preferences were established on the basis of surveys conducted via the Internet by means of social media services. The survey was carried out in 2016 and covered 346 people living in Poland, interested in running and jogging. It involved people over 18 years of age. As a research tool, an Internet questionnaire was used, which included questions concerning the attractiveness of the forest for practicing running, the frequency of running events in the forest, and factors motivating to take part in the running event. Statistical analysis was performed considering the influence of personal characteristics (gender, age, place of residence) and experience in running on the preferences of respondents with the use of the chi-square test. Men dominated among the respondents. The majority of respondents were people aged 35–44 living in towns. Over half of the respondents declared that they practiced athletic or recreational running for more than 4 years. The results show that the Polish forests are an attractive place for running. The preferences varied significantly, mainly in relation to gender, age, and experience in running. Age differentiated the views of respondents on the attractiveness of the forest as a place for running. Participating in forest running events was determined by gender, place of residence, and experience in running. Participants of such events are more frequently men, residing in towns. It was observed that the frequency of participation in running events increases with experience. The attractiveness of the running event was associated mainly with its general atmosphere and the characteristics of the running trail. However, the views were diversified according to gender, age, residence, and experience in running.

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