Georgiou, Y., Patsantaras, N., & Kamberidou, I. (2024). THE RUNNING TRIBES: TYPOLOGY OF THE LONG-DISTANCE RUNNING COMMUNITY OF GREECE. European Journal of Physical Education and Sport Science, 11(3), 1-18. Open Access Publishing Group. Copy at


The purpose of this research is to create a typology of the long-distance running community of Greece. The sample consisted of 3228 participants/runners in the "Athens Marathon. The Authentic". The variables used for the segmentation included the demographic, social, attitudinal, and behavioral characteristics of the individuals participating in running as a leisure time physical activity. A cluster analysis was implemented using Python K-Mode by creating a code and using the Elbow method because all the variables were categorical. The analysis yields five (5) different clusters, with some similarities but discernible differences, which distinguish each one of the clusters, making them unique. According to the recorded differences, each one of the clusters was assigned a name. The first cluster was named Leisure Health-Oriented Joggers, the second cluster Older Competitive Marathon Runners, the third Health Oriented Experienced Marathon Runners, the fourth Lonely Marathon Runners, and the fifth Sports Oriented Social Marathon Runners.  This is the first-ever presentation of a typology of the Greek running community. Moreover, such a typology could benefit the private and public sectors. Specifically, the segmentation of the running community could influence the sport industry in regard to services, products or merchandise as well as entrepreneurial initiatives. By focusing on the characteristics of each distinctive cluster, the public sector could use this as a guide in planning and implementing new physical activity policies, projects and programs.


Keywords: Marathon, Running movement, Physical Activity, Segmentation, Habits, Attitudes, Sport industry, Market segmentation, Gender gap


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