HomeSports 2.0Ultramarathon: The Ultimate Test of Endurance | Its History, Types, Record- All...
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Ultramarathon: The Ultimate Test of Endurance | Its History, Types, Record- All Details

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Any footrace greater than the standard marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is considered an ultramarathon, often known as ultra distance or ultra running (26 mi 385 yds). The ultra-marathon usually ranges from a minimum distance of 50 kilometers to a maximum of anything up to or over 320 kilometers. These marathons take a lot of toll on your body and require a high amount of fitness levels. Along with the physical challenges, they require great mental fortitude as well. 

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Ultramarathons are held all over the world, frequently in isolated areas, at high altitudes, and on trails away from traffic. For event administrators, blocking roads for extended periods is expensive and difficult. Nevada, New York, South Africa, Greece, Morocco, and India, etc all host renowned ultramarathons. 

TATA Ultra Marathon, Image Source- Ultra Running Magazine

The Tata ultra marathon is one of the famous ultra marathons in India. It is a 50-kilometer marathon.

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Ultra runs

The practice or sport of running extremely long distances or taking part in longer-distance races, such as ultramarathons. Any run longer than a marathon’s 26 miles is referred to as ultrarunning.


Archive: a history of our very first public ultramarathon - Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team USA
Sri Chinmoy Marathon Team USA, Image Source-

The history of ultrarunning or ultramarathon can be traced back to when Homo sapiens evolved and began to explore. This was due to the lack of stopwatches or distance indicators. Currently, there are thousands of runners participating in several thousand ultra races around the world. The International Ultrarunning Association (“IAU”) was officially recognized by the IAAF in 1988. The IAAF recognizes the IAU as the governing body for the sport of ultrarunning worldwide.

Ultramarathons Events

The ultramarathons can be further classified into three categories:

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Distance-based ultra marathons

Image Source- Men’s Health

These races require competitors to cover a predetermined distance. The most well-liked ultramarathon race distances are 50K, 50 miles, 100K, and 100 miles.

Time-based ultra marathons

Image Source- Outside Magazine

Instead of being limited by a certain distance, these races are time-limited. These races often have one of the three-time limits: 6 hours, 12 hours, or 24 hours. Most timed ultras consist of a loop course that is several miles or longer in length. At the conclusion of the loop, competitors have the opportunity to refuel or take a break as needed before continuing.

Also Read | Top 10 Fastest Marathon Runners In The World

Obstacle-based ultra marathons

Image Source- Los Angeles Times

Participants either take on a long-course event or finish a multi-lap timed event, similar to the races mentioned above. The Tough Mudder is a well-known example of an obstacle race; obstacle ultramarathons lengthen or shorten this extremely challenging course.

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Ultramarathon records

Ultramarathon records | KreedOn
KRISHAN SINGH BADHWAR, Image Source- Youtube
  • Krishan Singh Badhwar of Delhi, India, set the world record for “MOST CONSECUTIVE ULTRA MARATHONS COMPLETED” on September 10, 2021. He started running 50 straight ultramarathons on July 29, 2021, and finished on September 16, 2021, setting a new record for the International Book of Records.
  • Megan Cassidy (USA) ran the ultra-marathon distance for the longest period of time (23 days) in Orlando, Florida, from 17 December 2022 to 8 January 2023.
  • Spanish ultrarunner Ricardo Abad Martnez was born on January 8, 1971, in Tafalla. He now owns the world record for running a marathon for consecutive days.
  • At Dombivili, Maharashtra, India, from 1 September to 1 November 2022, Vishak Krishnaswamy (India) ran the marathon distance for the most consecutive days (male) with 62. Vishak intended to break the record in order to contradict what is thought of as the “typical lifestyle.”
  • Camille Herron, an ultrarunner, set a new world record for running 100 miles in 12 hours, 41 minutes, and 11 seconds.

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How long is a ultra marathon?

Any footrace greater than the standard marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers is considered an ultramarathon, often known as ultra distance or ultra running.

Doing ultra marathons is good for your health?

According to evidence, ultra-marathoners are healthier and less likely to be ill compared to the general population.

What is the average age of an ultra runner?

The average age of ultra-runners is around 42.5.

How many hours do ultra runners train?

For the 100k ultra distances you need to do at least 9 hours of training per week for 6 weeks.

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