Ultramarathons have risks but also benefits

One such sport, ultramarathons – marathons that take place over more than the traditional 42.195km – are fast growing in popularity.

In the first study to look at the health impacts of the runners who participate in these extremely long races, a team of US researchers have been able to shed some light on the potential benefits and risks from levels of exercise beyond the moderate amounts known to have health benefits.  

The researchers analysed online questionnaires completed by more than 1200 ultrarunners, who were asked about their training regimens, general health and running-related injuries during the previous 12 months. The investigators plan to follow this group of runners for 20 years.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study revealed that ultrarunners appear healthier and report fewer missed days at school or work due to illness or injury, according to the study.

Compared with the general population, they had low rates