Original Article

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 145-153

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Variables associated with odds of finishing and finish time in a 161-km ultramarathon

  • Jacob A. WegelinAffiliated withDepartment of Biostatistics, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • , Martin D. HoffmanAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Northern California Health Care System, and University of California Davis Medical Center Email author 


We sought to determine the degree to which age, sex, calendar year, previous event experience and ambient race day temperature were associated with finishing a 100-mile (161-km) trail running race and with finish time in that race. We computed separate generalized linear mixed-effects regression models for (1) odds of finishing and (2) finish times of finishers. Every starter from 1986 to 2007 was used in computing the models for odds of finishing (8,282 starts by 3,956 individuals) and every finisher in the same period was included in the models for finish time (5,276 finishes). Factors associated with improved odds of finishing included being a first-time starter and advancing calendar year. Factors associated with reduced odds of finishing included advancing age above 38 years and warmer weather. Beyond 38 years of age, women had worse odds of finishing than men. Warmer weather had a similar effect on finish rates for men and women. Finish times were slower with advancing age, slower for women than men, and less affected by warm weather for women than for men. Calendar year was not associated with finish time after adjustment for other variables.


Aerobic exercise Aging Endurance exercise Running Sex Sport