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Article

The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Endurance and Ultra-Endurance Running

1
Ultra Sports Science Foundation, 69310 Pierre-Bénite, France
2
Health Science Department, Universidad a Distancia de Madrid (UDIMA), Collado Villaba, 28400 Madrid, Spain
3
Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
4
Medbase St. Gallen Am Vadianplatz, 9006 St. Gallen, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicina 2021, 57(1), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010052
Received: 9 December 2020 / Revised: 24 December 2020 / Accepted: 7 January 2021 / Published: 9 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports Science)
Background and objectives: The COVID-19 outbreak has become a major health and economic crisis. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic in March 2020, and many sporting events were canceled. Materials and Methods: We examined the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on endurance and ultra-endurance running (UER) and analyzed finishes and events during the COVID-19 pandemic (observation period March 2020–October 2020) to the same time period pre-COVID-19 outbreak (March 2019–October 2019). Results: Endurance finishes decreased during the pandemic (459,029 to 42,656 (male: 277,493 to 25,582; female 181,536 to 17,074; all p < 0.001). Similarly, the numbers of endurance events decreased (213 vs. 61 events; p < 0.001). Average marathon finishing times decreased during the pandemic in men (5:18:03 ± 0:16:34 vs. 4:43:08 ± 0:25:08 h:min:s (p = 0.006)) and women (5:39:32 ± 0:19:29 vs. 5:14:29 ± 0:26:36 h:min:s (p = 0.02)). In UER, finishes decreased significantly (580,289 to 110,055; p < 0.001) as did events (5839 to 1791; p < 0.001). Popular event locations in United States, France, UK, and Germany decreased significantly (p < 0.05). All distance and time-limited UER events saw significant decreases (p < 0.05). Conclusions: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on endurance and UER, and it is unlikely that running activities return to pre-pandemic levels any time soon. Mitigation strategies and safety protocols should be established. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; endurance running; marathon; ultra-endurance; running; sport industry COVID-19; endurance running; marathon; ultra-endurance; running; sport industry
MDPI and ACS Style

Scheer, V.; Valero, D.; Villiger, E.; Rosemann, T.; Knechtle, B. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Endurance and Ultra-Endurance Running. Medicina 2021, 57, 52. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010052

AMA Style

Scheer V, Valero D, Villiger E, Rosemann T, Knechtle B. The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Endurance and Ultra-Endurance Running. Medicina. 2021; 57(1):52. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010052

Chicago/Turabian Style

Scheer, Volker, David Valero, Elias Villiger, Thomas Rosemann, and Beat Knechtle. 2021. "The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Endurance and Ultra-Endurance Running" Medicina 57, no. 1: 52. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina57010052

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