|Abstract:||The rapid development, growth, and diffusion of technology throughout the world today has spurred an integration with socializing and engagement that is fast becoming a part of everyday life (Baym, 2015; Blank, 2012; Consalvo & Ess, 2011). One such manifestation of this new form of social interaction is communities formed online or virtual communities (Ridings, Gefen, & Arinze, 2002). Virtual communities have been in existence for over thirty years (Ridings, Gefen, and Arinze, 2002) and existing studies of these communities have yielded powerful insights into learning, communication, marketing, relationships, benefits of participation, and more (Hiltz & Wellman, 1997; Mamonov, Koufaris, & Benbunan-Fich, 2016; Nimrod, 2014; Welbourne, Blanchard, & Boughton, 2009; Wellman & Gulia, 1999; Winkelman & Choo, 2003). However, there are still aspects of virtual communities about which little is known. Therefore, this study utilized the qualitative research technique of Netnography (Kozinets, 2010; 2015) to explore the experiences of participation in a virtual community and the meanings participants associate with membership in this group. Specific research questions focused on motivations, potential benefits, and potential implications for participants’ offline reality. The Hogwarts Running Club (HRC), a virtual community established in 2014 (HRC, 2017), on Facebook was the study setting. This Facebook group had approximately 16,000 members who engaged in online discussions and activities that focused around the Harry Potter book series and running (HRC, 2018a). The posts within the virtual community Great Hall (named for a location that is significant in the Harry Potter book series) served as the source of study data. As the researcher was a member of the HRC, four qualitative techniques were utilized to alleviate concerns surrounding “backyard” research (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992). These four techniques were member checking (Lincoln & Guba, 1985), prolonged engagement in the study setting (Creswell & Miller, 2000; Lincoln & Guba, 1985), peer debriefing (Creswell, 2009; Lincoln & Guba, 1985), and reflexive journaling (Genoe & Liechty, 2016; Walsh, 2003). Findings of the study have been presented as three manuscripts with unique foci. Sense of Community (McMillan & Chavis, 1986), Serious Leisure (Stebbins, 2007; 2012), and benefits and motivations each serve as the focus of a manuscript where implications for research and application have been discussed.