Demographic Characteristics of 161-km Ultramarathon Runners

ArticleinResearch in Sports Medicine An International Journal 20(1):59-69 · January 2012with32 Reads
DOI: 10.1080/15438627.2012.634707 · Source: PubMed
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.
    • "Hoffman and colleagues systematically investigated in recent years socio-demographic characteristics of ultra-marathoners [2,3]. In a survey completed by 489 of 674 runners competing in two of the largest 161-km ultra-marathons held in North America, the included athletes had a mean age of 44.5 years, were generally men (80.2%), were married (70.1%), had a bachelor's (43.6%) or a graduate (37.2%) degree [2] . In the UL- TRA-Study, Hoffman and Krishnan [3] interviewed 1,345 current and former ultra-marathoners. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An ultra-marathon can be defined as any running performance lasting for longer than six hours and/or longer than the classical marathon distance of 42.195 km. An ultra-marathon can be held as a single stage race in distance- and time-limited races and as a multi-stage race. The longest ultra-marathons cover several thousands of kilometres and can endure for up to two months. Ultra-marathoners are generally married and well-educated men at the age of ~45 years. Female ultra-marathoners account for ~20%. Ultra-marathoners differ from marathoners regarding anthropometry and training. Ultra-marathoners complete more running kilometres in training than marathoners do, but they run more slowly during training than marathoners. Previous experience is the most important predictor variable for a successful ultra-marathon performance apart from specific anthropometric characteristics (i.e. low body mass index and low body fat) and training characteristics (i.e. high volume and speed during running training). Women compete slower than men in ultra-marathon running; however, they were able to reduce the sex gap in recent years. The fastest ultra-marathon race times are generally achieved at 35-45 years for both women and men. http://www.dansksportsmedicin.dk/arkiv.asp?m=35&id=20154
    Article · Nov 2015 · SpringerPlus
    • "Additionally, ultramarathoners seemed to be well-educated middle-aged men since most of the successful 161-km ultra-marathoners have a high education. Hoffman and Fogard [25] reported that 43.6% of 161-km ultra-marathoners had a bachelor degree and 37.2% and graduate degree. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Recent studies found that the athlete’s age of the best ultra-marathon performance was higher than the athlete’s age of the best marathon performance and it seemed that the athlete’s age of peak ultra-marathon performance increased in distance-limited races with rising distance. Methods We investigated the athlete’s age of peak ultra-marathon performance in the fastest finishers in time-limited ultra-marathons from 6 hrs to 10 d. Running performance and athlete’s age of the fastest women and men competing in 6 hrs, 12 hrs, 24 hrs, 48 hrs, 72 hrs, 144 hrs (6 d) and 240 hrs (10 d) were analysed for races held between 1975 and 2012 using analysis of variance and multi-level regression analysis. Results The athlete’s ages of the ten fastest women ever in 6 hrs, 12 hrs, 24 hrs, 48 hrs, 72 hrs, 6 d and 10 d were 41 ± 9, 41 ± 6, 42 ± 5, 46 ± 5, 44 ± 6, 42 ± 4, and 37 ± 4 yrs, respectively. The athlete’s age of the ten fastest women was different between 48 hrs and 10 d. For men, the athlete’s ages were 35 ± 6, 37 ± 9, 39 ± 8, 44 ± 7, 48 ± 3, 48 ± 8 and 48 ± 6 yrs, respectively. The athlete’s age of the ten fastest men in 6 hrs and 12 hrs was lower than the athlete’s age of the ten fastest men in 72 hrs, 6 d and 10 d, respectively. Conclusion The athlete’s age of peak ultra-marathon performance did not increase with rising race duration in the best ultra-marathoners. For the fastest women ever in time-limited races, the athlete’s age was lowest in 10 d (~37 yrs) and highest in 48 hrs (~46 yrs). For men, the athlete’s age of the fastest ever in 6 hrs (~35 yrs) and 12 hrs (~37 yrs) was lower than the athlete’s age of the ten fastest in 72 hrs (~48 yrs), 6 d (~48 yrs) and 10 d (~48 yrs). The differences in the athlete’s age of peak performance between female and male ultra-marathoners for the different race durations need further investigations.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014
    • "but the largest 100 km and 100 miles ultra-marathons were all listed. This cross-sectional data analysis suffers some limitations since variables such as training (Knechtle et al. 2012a), anthropometric characteristics (Hoffman 2008; Rüst et al. 2012; Gianoli et al. 2012; Hoffman et al. 2010a), previous experience (Knechtle et al. 2010c; Knechtle et al. 2011a, [b], [c]), motivation (Hodge et al. 2008; Krouse et al. 2011; Ruiz-Juan and Zarauz 2012), demographic characteristics (Hoffman and Fogard 2012), nationality (Cejka et al. 2014) and performance-limiting factors (Hoffman and Fogard 2011) were not included. The selection of the annual top ten for each age group might lead to a selection bias due to low numbers of finisher in the early years of ultra-marathon running. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Improved performance has been reported for master runners (i.e. athletes older than 40 years) in both single marathons and single ultra-marathons. This study investigated performance trends of age group ultra-marathoners competing in all 100 km and 100 miles races held worldwide between 1971 and 2013. Changes in running speeds across years were investigated for the annual ten fastest 5-year age group finishers using linear, non-linear and multi-level regression analyses. In 100 km, running speed remained unchanged in women in 25-29 years, increased non-linearly in 30-34 to 55-59 years, and linearly in 60-64 years. In men, running speed increased non-linearly in 18-24 to 60-64 years and linearly in 65-69 to 75-79 years. In 100 miles, running speed increased in women linearly in 25-29 and 30-34 years, non-linearly in 35-39 to 45-49 years, and linearly in 50-54 and 55-59 years. For men, running speed increased linearly in 18-24 years, non-linearly in 25-29 to 45-49 years, and linearly in 50-54 to 65-69 years. Overall, the faster race times over the last 30 years are a result of all top ten finishers getting faster. These findings suggest that athletes in younger to middle age groups (i.e. 25-35 to 50-65 years depending upon sex and distance) have reached their limits due to a non-linear increase in running speed whereas runners in very young (i.e. younger than 25-35 years) and older age groups (i.e. older than 50-65 years) depending upon sex and distance might still improve their performance due to a linear increase in running speed.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014
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