12-hour ultra-marathons: Increasing worldwide participation and dominance of Europeans
Ultra-marathon running is of increasing popularity. Participation and performance trends in ultra-marathons have been previously investigated for 100 mile runs, multi-stage ultra-marathons, triathlons and ultra-triathlons, but not for 12-hour runs. We examined participation and performance trends in 12-hour runs held all over the world. Gender, nationality and age in runners competing in 12-hour runs worldwide from 1981 to 2010 were investigated. The annual number of participants in 12-hour runs increased significantly over time for athletes originating from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania (P < 0.05). Most of the runners participated in races taking place in the USA and also the most runners originated from the USA, which was followed alternately by Germany and France. Top ten European runners achieved the longest running distances with an average of 134.7±1.9 km for women and 155.8±2.5 km for men, facing the top three nations Russia, Germany and Japan with 130.7±2.6 km and 154.1±3.4 km, 131.8±3.5 km and 146.8±4.1km, 132.1±4.3 km and 144.9±1.3 km for the top ten women and men, respectively. To summarize, participation in 12-hour runs increased in the last 30 years. Europe was the continent with the highest annual number of participants and where the most runners came from. European top ten runners achieved the best performances. Future studies about 12-hour runs need to investigate up to what extent participation and performance trends depend on aspects like age, training, anthropometry, nutrition, experience, and weather.
BRANNEN D, MILROY A. Across America on foot: the Bunion derbies of 1928 and 1929. A Step Beyond: A Definitive Guide to Ultrarunning. 2004; 280-289.
BURFOOT A. The history of the marathon: 1976-present. Sports Medicine. 2007; 37:284-287. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200737040-00003
Cejuela, R., Cortell-Tormo, J., Chinchilla-Mira, J., Pérez-Turpin, J., & Villa, J. (2012). Gender differences in elite Olympic distance triathlon performances. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 7(2), 434-445. https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2012.72.09
CHEUVRONT SN, HAYMES EM. Thermoregulation and marathon running: biological and environmental influences. Sports Medicine. 2001; 31:743-762. https://doi.org/10.2165/00007256-200131100-00004
ELY MR, CHEUVRONT SN, ROBERTS WO, MONTAIN SJ. Impact of weather on marathon-running performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2007; 39:487-493. https://doi.org/10.1249/mss.0b013e31802d3aba
HODGE K, ALLEN JB, SMELLIE L. Motivation in master sport: achievement and social goals. Psychology of sport and Exercise. 2008; 9:157-176. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2007.03.002
HOFFMAN MD. Anthropometric characteristics of ultramarathoners. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 2008; 29:808-811. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-2008-1038434
HOFFMAN MD, ONG JC, WANG G. Historical analysis of participation in 161 km ultramarathons in North America. The International Journal of the History of Sport. 2010; 27:1877-1891. https://doi.org/10.1080/09523367.2010.494385
HOFFMAN MD. Performance trends in 161-km ultramarathon. International Journal of Sports Medicine. 2010; 31:31-37. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0029-1239561
HOFFMAN MD, WEGELIN JA. The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run: participation and performance trends. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2009; 41:2191-2198. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181a8d553
http://100km.ch, accessed May 20, 2012.
http://12-stunden-lauf.de, accessed June 28, 2012.
http://ch.srichinmoyraces.org, accessed June 28, 2012.
http://data.worldbank.org, accessed April 28, 2012.
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu, accessed April 22, 2012.
http://ultramarathonrunning.com, accessed June 28, 2012.
HULTON AT, LAHART I, WILLIAMS KL, GODFREY R, CHARLESWORTH S, WILSON M, PEDLAR C, WHYTE G. Energy expenditure in the Race Across America (RAAM). International Journal of Sports Medicine. 2010; 31:463-467. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0030-1251992
JEFFERY S, KNECHTLE B, RÜST C, KNECHTLE P, ROSEMANN T, LEPERS R. European dominance in Triple Iron ultra-triathlons from 1988 to 2011. Journal of Science and Cycling. 2012; 1: 30-38.
JEUKENDRUP AE, MARTIN J. Improving cycling performance: how should we spend our time and money. Sports Medicine. 2011; 31:559-569.
JOKL P, SETHI PM, COOPER AJ. Master's performance in the New York City Marathon 1983-1999. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2004; 38:408-412. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2002.003566
KNECHTLE B, KNECHTLE P, LEPERS R. Participation and performance trends in ultra-triathlons from 1985 to 2009. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 2011a; 21:e82-90. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01160.x
KNECHTLE B, KNECHTLE P, ROSEMANN T, SENN O. Personal best time, not anthropometry or training volume, is associated with total race time in a triple iron triathlon. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2011b; 25:1142-1150. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d09f0f
KNECHTLE B, KOHLER G. Running performance, not anthropometric factors, is associated with race success in a Triple Iron Triathlon. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2009; 43:437-441. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2007.039602
KNECHTLE B, RÜST CA, ROSEMANN T, LEPERS R. Age-related changes in 100-km ultra-marathon running performance. Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands). 2012a; 34:1033-1045. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-011-9290-9
KNECHTLE B, WIRTH A, KNECHTLE P, ROSEMANN T. Training volume and personal best time in marathon, not anthropometric parameters, are associated with performance in male 100-km ultrarunners. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2010; 24:604-609. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c7b406
KNECHTLE B, WIRTH A, KNECHTLE P, RÜST CA, ROSEMANN T, LEPERS R. No improvement in race performance by naps in male ultra-endurance cyclists in a 600-km ultra-cycling race. The Chinese Journal of Physiology. 2012b; 55:125-133. https://doi.org/10.4077/CJP.2011.AMM050
LARSEN HB. Kenyan dominance in distance running. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology. 2003; 136:161-170. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1095-6433(03)00227-7
LAURSEN P. Long distance triathlon: demands, preparation and performance. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise. 2011; 6:247-263. https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2011.62.05
LEPERS R. Analysis of Hawaii ironman performances in elite triathletes from 1981 to 2007. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2008; 40:1828-1834. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e31817e91a4
LEPERS R, CATTAGNI T. Do older runners reach limits in their performance during marathon running? Age (Dordrecht, Netherlands). 2012; 34:773-781. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-011-9271-z
LEPERS R, KNECHTLE B, KNECHTLE P, ROSEMANN T. Analysis of ultra-triathlon performances. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. 2011; 2:131-136. https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S22956
LUCIA A, ESTEVE-LANAO J, OLIVÁN J, GÓMEZ-GALLEGO F, SAN JUAN AF, SANTIAGO C, PÉREZ M, CHAMORRO-VIÑA C, FOSTER C. Physiological characteristics of the best Eritrean runners-exceptional running economy. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2006; 31:530-540. https://doi.org/10.1139/h06-029
MILROY A. Captain Barclay: nineteenth century super ultrarunner. A Step Beyond: A Definitive Guide to Ultrarunning. 2004; 258-263.
NOAKES T. Lore of running. 4th ed. South Africa: Oxford University Press. 2003; 460-467.
O'CONNOR LM, VOZENILEK JA. Is it the athlete or the equipment? An analysis of the top swim performances from 1990 to 2010. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2011; 25:3239-3241. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182392c5f
ONYWERA VO, SCOTT RA, BOIT MK, PITSILADIS YP. Demographic characteristics of elite Kenyan endurance runners. Journal of Sports Sciences. 2006; 24:415-422. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640410500189033
PARISE CA, HOFFMAN MD. Influence of temperature and performance level on pacing a 161 km trail ultramarathon. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. 2011; 6:243-251. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.6.2.243
PIPE AL. International travel and the elite runner. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 2011; 21:62-66. https://doi.org/10.1097/JSM.0b013e318205dfc9
Ruiz-Juan, F., & Zarauz, A. (2012). Predictor variables of motivation on Spanish master athletes. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 7(3), 617-628. https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2012.73.02
SCOTT RA, GEORGIADES E, WILSON RH, GOODWIN WH, WOLDE B, PITSILADIS YP. Demographic characteristics of elite Ethiopian endurance runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2003; 35:1727-1732. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.MSS.0000089335.85254.89
SIGG K, KNECHTLE B, RÜST CA, KNECHTLE P, LEPERS R, ROSEMANN T. Central European triathletes dominate Double Iron ultratriathlon – analysis of participation and performance 1985–2011. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine. 2012; 3:159-168. https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S37001
SKENDERI KP, KAVOURAS SA, ANASTASIOU CA, YIANNAKOURIS N, MATALAS AL. Exertional rhabdomyolysis during a 246-km continuous running race. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2006; 38:1054-1057. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.mss.0000222831.35897.5f
TRAPASSO LM, COOPER JD. Record performances at the Boston Marathon: biometeorological factors. International Journal of Biometeorology. 1989; 33:233-237. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01051083
RÜST CA, KNECHTLE B, KNECHTLE P, LEPERS R, ROSEMANN T, ONYWERA V. European athletes dominate performances in Double Iron ultra-triathlons – A retrospective data analysis from 1985 to 2010. European Journal of Sport Science. 2012. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2011.641033
VIHMA T. Effects of weather on the performance of marathon runners. International Journal of Biometeorology. 2010; 54:297-306. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00484-009-0280-x
ZARYSKI C, SMITH DJ. Training principles and issues for ultra-endurance runners. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 2005; 4:165-170. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.CSMR.0000306201.49315.73