Date of Conferral





Health Education and Promotion


Sergio Molina


Despite the high occurrence of running-related injuries, master level runners, those aged 40 years and older, account for 50% of all marathon finishers. What is not known is the common motive sustaining participation, especially among this age demographic. The self-determination theory was the theoretical framework to support how behavior is regulated by the individual. The purpose of this quantitative research was to identify a difference in the motives (psychological, physical, social, and achievement) and their subcategorical motives (health orientation, weight concern, affiliation, recognition, psychological coping, life meaning, self-esteem, competition, and personal goals) via the Motivations of Marathoners Scales by master level runners according to their injury status and gender. Two hundred and twenty-five master level runners from social media marathon running groups completed the online survey. The responses were analyzed using an independent-samples t test and an ANOVA. The results showed female master level runners statistically significant in psychological coping, life meaning, self-esteem, health orientation, weight concern, and affiliation which contributed to psychological, physical, and social motives while male master level runners were statistically significant only in the subcategory of competition. The implications for positive social change include a better understanding of motivation, its sustainment, and the adherence of physical activity behaviors to improve the positive influence among the current beliefs about aging and activity for better health of individuals and their communities.