Participation and performance trends in 6-hour ultra-marathoners: A retrospective data analysis of worldwide participation from 1991-2010
Keywords:Ultra-Endurance, Running, Nationality, Age, Gender
Participation trends in 6-hour ultra-marathons held word-wide were investigated to gain basic demographic data on 6-hour ultra-marathoners and where these races took place. Participation trends and the association between nationality and race performance were investigated in all 6-hour races held worldwide between 1991 and 2010. Participation increased linearly in both women and men across years. The annual number of finishes was significantly higher in men than in women (P=0.013). The male-to-female ratio remained stable at ~4 since 1991. Runners in age group 45-49 years showed the largest increase in participation for both men (800 participants in 18 years) and women (208 participants in 16 years). Europe attracted most of the runners from other continents (166 runners), more than all other continents combined (55 runners). European runners also showed the best top ten performances (73±3 km for women and 77±11 km for men), while African (with 65±9 km for men) and South American (54±4 km for women and 65±2 km for men) runners showed the weakest. To summarize, participation in 6-hour ultra-marathons increased across years. Most of the development took place in Europe and in athletes in the age group 45-49 years. Europe also attracted the most diverse field of athletes with runners from all other continents. European runners accounted for the most runners and achieved the best top ten performances.
ABOU SHOAK M, KNECHTLE B, RÜST CA, LEPERS R, ROSEMANN T. European dominance in multistage ultramarathons: an analysis of finisher rate and performance trends from 1992 to 2010. Open Access J Sports Med. 2013;4:9-18. https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S39619
BAKER J, HORTON S. East African running dominance revisited: a role for stereotype threat? Br J Sports Med. 2003;37:553-5. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.37.6.553
COETZER P, NOAKES TD, SANDERS B, LAMBERT MI, BOSCH AN, WIGGINS T, DENNIS SC. Superior fatigue resistance of elite black South African distance runners. J Appl Physiol. 1993;75:1822-7. https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.19126.96.36.1992
DUV: Deutsche Ultramarathon-Vereinigung, Retrieved from http://www.ultra-marathon.org in December 2010
EICHENBERGER E, KNECHTLE B, RÜST CA, LEPERS R, ROSEMANN T, ONYWERA VO. The aspect of nationality and performance in a mountain ultra-marathon – the 'Swiss Alpine Marathon'. J Hum Sport Exerc. 2013;7:748-62. https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2012.74.03
HERBST L, KNECHTLE B, LOPEZ CL, ANDONIE JL, FRAIRE OS, KOHLER G, RÜST CA, ROSEMANN T. Pacing strategy and change in body composition during a Deca Iron Triathlon. Chin J Physiol. 2011;54:255-63. https://doi.org/10.4077/CJP.2011.AMM115
HOFFMAN MD. Performance trends in 161-km ultramarathons. Int J Sports Med. 2010;31:31-7. https://doi.org/10.1055/s-0029-1239561
HOFFMAN MD, WEGELIN JA. The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run: participation and performance trends. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41:2191-8. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181a8d553
JOKL P, SETHI PM, COOPER AJ. Master's performance in the New York City Marathon 1983-1999. Br J Sports Med. 2004;38:408-12. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2002.003566
KNECHTLE B, KNECHTLE P, LEPERS R. Participation and performance trends in ultra triathlon from 1985 to 2009. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011a;21:e82-90. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2010.01160.x
KNECHTLE B, KNECHTLE P, ROSEMANN T. Race performance in male mountain ultra-marathoners: anthropometry or training? Percept Mot Skills. 2010a;110:721-35. https://doi.org/10.2466/pms.110.3.721-735
KNECHTLE B, KNECHTLE P, ROSEMANN T, LEPERS R. Predictor variables for a 100-km race time in male ultra-marathoners. Percept Mot Skills. 2010b;111:681-93. https://doi.org/10.2466/05.25.PMS.111.6.681-693
KNECHTLE B, KNECHTLE P, ROSEMANNT, SENN O. Personal best time and training volume, not anthropometry, is related to race performance in the 'Swiss Bike Masters' mountain bike ultramarathon. J Strength Cond Res. 2011b;25:1312-7. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d85ac4
KNECHTLE B, RÜST CA, ROSEMANN T, LEPERS R. Age-related changes in 100-km ultra-marathon running performance. Age (Dordr). 2012;34:1033-45. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-011-9290-9
KNECHTLE B, RÜST CA, ROSEMANN T. The aspect of nationality in participation and performance in ultra-marathon running – a comparison between 'Badwater' and 'Spartathlon'
Knechtle B, Rüst CA, Rosemann T. OA Sports Medicine. 2013;1:1.
KROUSE RZ, RANSDELL LB, LUCAS SM, PRITCHARD ME. Motivation, goal orientation, coaching, and training habits of women ultrarunners. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25:2835-42. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e318204caa0
LARSEN HB. Kenyan dominance in distance running. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2003;136:161-70. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1095-6433(03)00227-7
LAZZER S, SALVADEGO D, REJC E, BUGLIONE A, ANTONUTTO G, DI PRAMPERO PE. The energetics of ultra-endurance running. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011; 112:1709-15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-011-2120-z
LEE MS, TANAKA K. Significance of health fitness appraisal in an aging society. Appl Human Sci. 1997;16:123-31. https://doi.org/10.2114/jpa.16.123
LEPERS R, CATTAGNI T. Do older athletes reach limits in their performance during marathon running? Age (Dordr). 2012;34:773-81. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-011-9271-z
LEPERS R, KNECHTLE B, KNECHTLE P, ROSEMANN T. Analysis of ultra-triathlon performances. Open Access J Sports Med. 2011;2:131-136. https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S22956
LEPERS R, MAFFIULETTI NA. Age and gender interactions in ultraendurance performance: insight from the triathlon. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011;43:134-9. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181e57997
LUCIA A, ESTEVE-LANAO J, OLIVÁN J, GÓMEZ-GALLEGO F, SAN JUAN AF, SANTIAGO C, PÉREZ M, CHAMORRO-VIÑA C, FOSTER C. Physiological characteristic of the best Eritrean runners-exceptional running economy. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2006;31:530-40. https://doi.org/10.1139/h06-029
MILLET GY, BANFI JC, KERHERVE H, MORIN JB, VINCENT L, ESTRADE C, GEYSSANT A, FEASSON L. Physiological and biological factors associated with a 24 h treadmill ultra-marathon performance. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2011;21:54-61. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01001.x
ONYWERA VO, SCOTT RA, BOIT MK, PITSILADIS YP. Demographic characteristics of elite Kenyan endurance runners. J Sports Sci. 2006;24:415-22. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640410500189033
PARISE CA, HOFFMAN MD. Influence of temperature and performance level on pacing a 161 km trail ultramarathon. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2011;6:243-51. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.6.2.243
PARRY D, CHINNASAMY C, PAPADOPOULOU E, NOAKES T, MICKLEREIGHT D. Cognition and performance: anxiety, mood and perceived exertion among Ironman triathletes. Br J Sports Med. 2011;45:1088-94. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2010.072637
RAPOPORT BI. Metabolic factors limiting performance in marathon runners. PLoS Comput Biol. 2010;6:e1000960. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000960
RUIZ-JUAN F, SANCHO AZ. Predictor variable of motivation on Spanish master athletes. J Hum Sport Exerc. 2012;7:617-28. https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2012.73.02
SALTIN B, LARSEN H, TERRADOS N, BANGSBO J, BAK T, KIM CK, SVEDENHAG J, ROLF CJ. Aerobic exercise capacity at sea level and at altitude in Kenyan boys, junior and senior runners compared with Scandinavian runners. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1995;5:209-21. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0838.1995.tb00037.x
SCOTT RA, GEORGIADES E, WILSON RH, GOODWIN WH, WOLDE B, PITSILADIS YP. Demographic characteristics of elite Ethiopian endurance runners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35:1727-32. https://doi.org/10.1249/01.MSS.0000089335.85254.89
SIGG K, KNECHTLE B, RÜST CA, LEPERS R, ROSEMANN T. Central European triathletes dominate Double Iron ultratriathlon - analysis of participation and performance 1985 – 2011. Open Access J Sports Med. 2012;3:159-68. https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S37001
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc (2012). List of countries by life expectancy Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy
ZARYSKI C, SMITH DJ. Training principles and issues for ultra-endurance athletes. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2005;4:165-70. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.CSMR.0000306201.49315.73
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2013 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Each author warrants that his or her submission to the Work is original and that he or she has full power to enter into this agreement. Neither this Work nor a similar work has been published elsewhere in any language nor shall be submitted for publication elsewhere while under consideration by JHSE. Each author also accepts that the JHSE will not be held legally responsible for any claims of compensation.
Authors wishing to include figures or text passages that have already been published elsewhere are required to obtain permission from the copyright holder(s) and to include evidence that such permission has been granted when submitting their papers. Any material received without such evidence will be assumed to originate from the authors.
Please include at the end of the acknowledgements a declaration that the experiments comply with the current laws of the country in which they were performed. The editors reserve the right to reject manuscripts that do not comply with the abovementioned requirements. The author(s) will be held responsible for false statements or failure to fulfill the above-mentioned requirements.
This title is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
You are free to share, copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format. The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms under the following terms:
Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
Transfer of Copyright
In consideration of JHSE’s publication of the Work, the authors hereby transfer, assign, and otherwise convey all copyright ownership worldwide, in all languages, and in all forms of media now or hereafter known, including electronic media such as CD-ROM, Internet, and Intranet, to JHSE. If JHSE should decide for any reason not to publish an author’s submission to the Work, JHSE shall give prompt notice of its decision to the corresponding author, this agreement shall terminate, and neither the author nor JHSE shall be under any further liability or obligation.
Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (e.g., consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc.) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article, except as disclosed on a separate attachment. All funding sources supporting the Work and all institutional or corporate affiliations of the authors are acknowledged in a footnote in the Work.
Each author certifies that his or her institution has approved the protocol for any investigation involving humans or animals and that all experimentation was conducted in conformity with ethical and humane principles of research.
Biomedical journals typically require authors and reviewers to declare if they have any competing interests with regard to their research.
JHSE require authors to agree to Copyright Notice as part of the submission process.