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Russians are the fastest and the youngest in the "Comrades Marathon"


Nikolaidis, Pantelis T; Knechtle, Beat (2019). Russians are the fastest and the youngest in the "Comrades Marathon". Journal of Sports Sciences, 37(12):1387-1392.

Abstract

The present retrospective study intended to determine age, performance, the role of nationality and participation trends across calendar years in runners competing in "Comrades Marathon", the ultra-marathon with the longest tradition and the highest number of finishers worldwide. We analysed 235,467 finishers (40,211 women and 195,256 men) competing between 1994 and 2017. In women and men, Russians were the fastest (12.55 ± 2.03 km/h and 12.24 ± 2.93 km/h, respectively) and Indians the slowest (7.87 ± 0.64 km/h and 7.91 ± 0.60 km/h) (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.053 and η2 = 0.010, small effect size, ES). Also, Russians were the youngest (33.9 ± 4.6 and 36.3 ± 5.9 years, respectively) and Japanese the oldest (49.3 ± 9.6 and 51.4 ± 12.3 years, respectively) (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.011, small ES). Performance improved (r = 0.90 in women and r = 0.92 in men), age of finishers (r = 0.91 in women and r = 0.97 in men), participation (r = 0.92 in women and r = 0.87 in men) and sex difference in age increased (r = 0.71), whereas men-to-women ratio (r = -0.91) and sex difference in performance (r = -0.68) decreased across calendar years (p < 0.001). In summary, runners from Russia were the fastest and the youngest in both sexes. The knowledge of the relationship of nationality with performance, age and participation trends of finishers, and changes across calendar years are of practical importance for ultra-runners and coaches working with them.

Abstract

The present retrospective study intended to determine age, performance, the role of nationality and participation trends across calendar years in runners competing in "Comrades Marathon", the ultra-marathon with the longest tradition and the highest number of finishers worldwide. We analysed 235,467 finishers (40,211 women and 195,256 men) competing between 1994 and 2017. In women and men, Russians were the fastest (12.55 ± 2.03 km/h and 12.24 ± 2.93 km/h, respectively) and Indians the slowest (7.87 ± 0.64 km/h and 7.91 ± 0.60 km/h) (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.053 and η2 = 0.010, small effect size, ES). Also, Russians were the youngest (33.9 ± 4.6 and 36.3 ± 5.9 years, respectively) and Japanese the oldest (49.3 ± 9.6 and 51.4 ± 12.3 years, respectively) (p < 0.001, η2 = 0.011, small ES). Performance improved (r = 0.90 in women and r = 0.92 in men), age of finishers (r = 0.91 in women and r = 0.97 in men), participation (r = 0.92 in women and r = 0.87 in men) and sex difference in age increased (r = 0.71), whereas men-to-women ratio (r = -0.91) and sex difference in performance (r = -0.68) decreased across calendar years (p < 0.001). In summary, runners from Russia were the fastest and the youngest in both sexes. The knowledge of the relationship of nationality with performance, age and participation trends of finishers, and changes across calendar years are of practical importance for ultra-runners and coaches working with them.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of General Practice
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:18 June 2019
Deposited On:27 Feb 2019 15:34
Last Modified:25 Sep 2019 00:18
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0264-0414
Additional Information:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sports Sciences on 2019, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02640414.2018.1559979
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2018.1559979
PubMed ID:30583710

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