Variables associated with odds of finishing and finish time in a 161-km ultramarathon

Department of Biostatistics, Virginia Commonwealth University, P. O. Box 980032, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.
Arbeitsphysiologie (Impact Factor: 2.19). 01/2011; 111(1):145-53. DOI: 10.1007/s00421-010-1633-1
Source: PubMed


We sought to determine the degree to which age, sex, calendar year, previous event experience and ambient race day temperature were associated with finishing a 100-mile (161-km) trail running race and with finish time in that race. We computed separate generalized linear mixed-effects regression models for (1) odds of finishing and (2) finish times of finishers. Every starter from 1986 to 2007 was used in computing the models for odds of finishing (8,282 starts by 3,956 individuals) and every finisher in the same period was included in the models for finish time (5,276 finishes). Factors associated with improved odds of finishing included being a first-time starter and advancing calendar year. Factors associated with reduced odds of finishing included advancing age above 38 years and warmer weather. Beyond 38 years of age, women had worse odds of finishing than men. Warmer weather had a similar effect on finish rates for men and women. Finish times were slower with advancing age, slower for women than men, and less affected by warm weather for women than for men. Calendar year was not associated with finish time after adjustment for other variables.

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    • "It is abundantly clear that aerobic exercise performance is impaired in the heat. For instance, exercise performance is inversely related to ambient temperature within a given competition (Ely et al., 2007a,b, 2008; Vihma, 2010; Wegelin & Hoffman, 2011). These findings have been confirmed in laboratory studies that have demonstrated that fixed work rate exercise time to exhaustion is also reduced in a hot environment (MacDougall et al., 1974; Galloway & Maughan, 1997; Gonzalez-Alonso et al., 1999; Parkin et al., 1999). "
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    • "y one successful finish or when at least five successful finishes were considered. The lowest age of peak performance was 33.7 years for 6 h, and the highest age was 46.8 years for 48 h. It is a common finding that successful ultramarathoners are older than 35 years (Hoffman 2010; Hoffman and Wegelin 2009; Hoffman and Krishnan 2013; Knechtle 2012). Wegelin and Hoffman (2011) showed that especially women performed better than men above the age of 38 years. 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 (2012) reported that 43.6 % of 161-km ultra-marathoners had a bachelor degree and 37.2"
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