For citation purposes: Knechtle B, R?st CA, Rosemann T. The aspect of nationality in participation and performance in ultra-marathon running - A comparison between 'Badwater' and 'Spartathlon'. OA Sports Medicine 2013 Feb 01;1(1):1.

Original research study

 
Training, Performance & Rehabilitation

The aspect of nationality in participation and performance in ultra-marathon running—A comparison between ‘Badwater’ and ‘Spartathlon’

B Knechtle,, CA Rüst, T Rosemann
 

Authors affiliations

(1) Facharzt FMH für Allgemeinmedizin, Gesundheitszentrum St. Gallen, Vadianstrasse 26, 9001 St. Gallen, Switzerland

(2) Institute of General Practice and Health Services Research, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

Corresponding author Email: beat.knechtle@hispeed.ch

Abstract

Introduction

The aim of the study was to investigate participation and performance trends in relation to the nationality of successful finishers in sing lest age ultra-marathons of more than 200 km.

Materials and methods

The association between sex and nationality with running speed was investigated in ‘Badwater’ (217 km) held in North America with 208 women and 818 men and ‘Spartathlon’ (246 km) held in Europe with 206 women and 1,814 men between 2000 and 2012.

Results

In ‘Badwater’, most of the finishes were achieved by athletes from the USA, followed by athletes from Germany and Great Britain. In ‘Spartathlon’, the highest number of finishes was obtained by athletes from Japan, followed by athletes from Germany and France. In ‘Badwater’, women from the USA were the fastest, followed by women from Canada. For men, the fastest finishes were achieved by competitors from the USA, followed by athletes from Mexico and Canada. In ‘Spartathlon’, the fastest female finishes were obtained by women from Japan, followed by women from Germany and the USA. In men, the fastest finishes were achieved by runners from Greece, followed by athletes from Japan and Germany.

Conclusion

These results show that American ultra-marathoners dominated both participation and performance in ‘Badwater’ in the USA. In ‘Spartathl-on’ in Europe, however, both female and male runners from Japan we-re dominating participation whe-reas male ultra -marathoners from Greece and female ultra-marathone-rs from Japan dominated performa-nce. Future studies need to inves-tigate participation and performance trends for Japanese ultra-marathoners in other races such as 100 km and 100 miles ultra-marathons.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2013. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)
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