Performance of Kenyan athletes in mountain versus flat marathon running: An example in Switzerland


  • Clemens Harm Surgical Clinic, Kantonsspital Frauenfeld, Frauenfeld, Switzerland
  • Beat Knechtle Gesundheitszentrum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland
  • Christoph Alexander Rüst University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Thomas Rosemann University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • Romuald Lepers University of Burgundy, France
  • Vincent Onywera Kenyatta University, Kenya



East Africa, Altitude, Mountain, Long-Distance run


The purpose of this study was to compare running performance of Kenyans in a flat city marathon and a mountain marathon in Switzerland. Running times of top three overall Kenyan runners were compared with running times of top three overall runners of other nations in a mountain and a flat marathon held in Switzerland between 2003 and 2011. In the mountain marathon top three male Kenyans achieved with 199±23min the 11th fastest running time behind athletes from Italy (177±1min), Switzerland (179±0min), France (186±5min), Great Britain (189±3min), Mexico (189±3min), Germany (192±5min), Czech Republic (195±13min), Morocco (195±7min), USA (196±6min) and Hungary (198±8min). Female Kenyan athletes did not even participate in the mountain marathon. In the city marathon top three male Kenyan athletes achieved the second fastest running time (130±1min) behind Swiss athletes (129±1min), Kenyan female runners had the fifth fastest running time (158±4min) behind athletes from Russia (153±2min), Ethiopia (154±2min), Switzerland (155±2min) and Poland (155±4min). To summarize, Switzerland, Kenyans achieved not the fastest running times in a mountain marathon while they attained the second fastest running times in flat marathon.


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How to Cite

Harm, C., Knechtle, B., Rüst, C. A., Rosemann, T., Lepers, R., & Onywera, V. (2013). Performance of Kenyan athletes in mountain versus flat marathon running: An example in Switzerland. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 8(4), 881–893.



Performance Analysis of Sport

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