Demographic characteristics of 161-km ultramarathon runners.
ABSTRACT Despite considerable recent growth in ultramarathon running, little is known about the characteristics of the participants. This work documents demographic characteristics of 161-km ultramarathoners. Surveys were completed by 489 of 674 runners entered in two of the largest 161-km ultramarathons in North America in 2009. Respondents had a mean (± SD) age of 44.5 ± 9.8 years (range 20-72 years) and were generally men (80.2%), married (70.1%), had bachelor's (43.6%) or graduate (37.2%) degrees, and used vitamins and/or supplements (75.3%). They reported 2.8 ± 20.2 days of work or school loss in the previous year from injury or illness. Body mass index (23.4 ± 2.2 and 20.8 ± 1.8 kg/m2 for men and women, respectively) was not associated with age. The findings indicate that 161-km ultramarathon participants are largely well-educated, middle-aged, married men who rarely miss work due to illness or injury, generally use vitamins and/or supplements, and maintain appropriate body mass with aging.
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ABSTRACT: Little is known about the sociodemographics and lifestyle behaviors of ultramarathon runners, and the effects of these characteristics on body weight and body mass index (BMI). We cross-sectionally analyzed baseline data of 1,212 ultramarathoners on sociodemographics, lifestyle behaviors and BMI from the initial 12-month enrollment period in a longitudinal observational study. The ultramarathoners were mostly middle-aged men who were more educated, more likely to be in a stable relationship, and more likely to use over-the-counter vitamins/supplements than the general population. They appear to gain less body weight with advancing age than the general population. Factors with the greatest effect on current BMI were BMI at 25 years of age and sex which explained 48% and 3% of the variance. Negligible, but statistically significant direct relationships, with BMI were observed for age, work hours per week, television watching hours per week, and composite fat consumption frequency score. Negligible, but statistically significant inverse relationships, with BMI were observed for running distance during the prior year, and composite fruit and vegetable consumption frequency score. While lifestyle decisions were found to impact BMI within this group of ultramarathoners, BMI at age 25 was the strongest predictor of current BMI.Journal of Physical Activity and Health 12/2013; 11(8). DOI:10.1123/jpah.2013-0056 · 1.95 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recent findings suggested that the age of peak ultra-marathon performance seemed to increase with increasing race distance. The present study investigated the age of peak ultra-marathon performance for runners competing in time-limited ultra-marathons held from 6 to 240 h (i.e. 10 days) during 1975-2013. Age and running performance in 20,238 (21 %) female and 76,888 (79 %) male finishes (6,863 women and 24,725 men, 22 and 78 %, respectively) were analysed using mixed-effects regression analyses. The annual number of finishes increased for both women and men in all races. About one half of the finishers completed at least one race and the other half completed more than one race. Most of the finishes were achieved in the fourth decade of life. The age of the best ultra-marathon performance increased with increasing race duration, also when only one or at least five successful finishes were considered. The lowest age of peak ultra-marathon performance was in 6 h (33.7 years, 95 % CI 32.5-34.9 years) and the highest in 48 h (46.8 years, 95 % CI 46.1-47.5). With increasing number of finishes, the athletes improved performance. Across years, performance decreased, the age of peak performance increased, and the age of peak ultra-marathon performance increased with increasing number of finishes. In summary, the age of peak ultra-marathon performance increased and performance decreased in time-limited ultra-marathons. The age of peak ultra-marathon performance increased with increasing race duration and with increasing number of finishes. These athletes improved race performance with increasing number of finishes.Journal of the American Aging Association 10/2014; 36(5):9715. DOI:10.1007/s11357-014-9715-3 · 3.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study examined participation and performance trends in 'Ironman Hawaii' regarding the nationality of the finishers. Associations between nationalities and race times of 39,706 finishers originating from 124 countries in the 'Ironman Hawaii' from 1985 to 2012 were analyzed using single and multi-level regression analysis. Most of the finishers originated from the United States of America (47.5%) followed by athletes from Germany (11.7%), Japan (7.9%), Australia (6.7%), Canada (5.2%), Switzerland (2.9%), France (2.3%), Great Britain (2.0%), New Zealand (1.9%), and Austria (1.5%). German women showed the fastest increase in finishers (r2=0.83, p<0.0001), followed by Australia (r2=0.78, p<0.0001), Canada (r2=0.78, p<0.0001) and the USA (r2=0.69, p<0.0001). Japanese women showed no change in the number of finishers (r2=0.01, p>0.05). For men, athletes from France showed the steepest increase (r2=0.85, p<0.0001), followed by Austria (r2=0.68, p<0.0001), Australia (r2=0.67, p<0.0001), Brazil (r2=0.60, p<0.0001), Great Britain (r2=0.46, p<0.0001), Germany (r2=0.26, p<0.0001), the United States of America (r2=0.21, p=0.013) and Switzerland (r2=0.14, p=0.0044). The number of Japanese men decreased (r2=0.35, p=0.0009). The number of men from Canada (r2=0.02, p>0.05) and New Zealand (r2=0.02, p>0.05) remained unchanged. Regarding female performance, the largest improvements were achieved by Japanese women (17.3%). The fastest race times in 2012 were achieved by US-American women. Women from Japan, Canada, Germany, Australia, and the United States of America improved race times. For men, the largest improvements were achieved by athletes originating from Brazil (20.9%) whereas the fastest race times in 2012 were achieved by athletes from Germany. Race times for athletes originating from Brazil, Austria, Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and France decreased. Race times in athletes originating from Australia and the United States of America showed no significant changes. Regarding the fastest race times ever, the fastest women originated from the United States (546+/-7 min) followed by Great Britain (555+/-15 min) and Switzerland (558+/-8 min). In men, the fastest finishers originated from the United States (494+/-7 min), Germany (496+/-6 min) and Australia (497+/-5 min). The 'Ironman Hawaii' has been dominated by women and men from the United States of America in participation and performance.04/2014; 6(1):16. DOI:10.1186/2052-1847-6-16