Are Women Better Suited For Ultras?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 3, 2011

Women may be better suited to run longer than 26.2 miles. Photo: Telegraph

More women cross the finish line of an ultra marathon than men.

The Telegraph Web site recently profiled 41-year-old ultra enthusiast Finola Wilson. A former English teacher and mother of two, Wilson has been logging 100-mile weeks since the beginning of the year.

What’s the point of all those long miles? Wilson aims to run 230 miles through Wales in seven and a half days.

So are women better suited to run ultras? “Yes,” says Jen Salter, the only Briton to ever win a stage in the grueling Marathon des Sables. “We…have a higher proportion of body fat so we’re not having to refuel as often,” she contends.

She may be on to something. It’s a fact that women finish more ultras than men do.

“Women can have amazing stamina and tenacity – it’s well known among experienced professionals that women runners are better after they have children because they have a higher pain threshold,” says Salter. “We’ve all seen it happen so many times.”

Some believe women are also better suited for ultras, because they tend to have smaller bodies which conserves energy and protects the limbs.

For More: Telegraph

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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