Demographic Characteristics of 161-km Ultramarathon Runners
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.