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Vol. 53. Issue 200.
Pages 139-146 (October - December 2018)
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Vol. 53. Issue 200.
Pages 139-146 (October - December 2018)
Original article
DOI: 10.1016/j.apunts.2018.05.002
Ultra Pirineu 2017: Characteristics of elite and non-elite runners and effects on health of a mountain marathon: Serialmed-UP pilot study
Ultra Pirineu 2017: características de los corredores de élite y de no élite y efectos sobre la salud de una maratón de montaña: estudio piloto Serialmed-UP
Joan Carles Trullàsa,b,c,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author.
, Emma Rocac,d, Albert Guillermoc, Llorenç Bovéc, Jordi Gibertc,e
a Servei de Medicina Interna, Hospital d’Olot, Olot, Girona, Spain
b Departament de Ciències Mèdiques, Universitat de Girona, Girona, Spain
c Serialmed LAB, S.L, Spain
d Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
e Unitat de Medicina i Traumatologia de l’Esport, COT CAT, Àptima Centre Clínic, Spain
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Tables (3)
Table 1. Descriptive results of the survey conducted on non-elite runners.
Table 2. Descriptive results of the measurements before and after the race and comparative results between the elite and the non-elite runners.
Table 3. Comparative results of measurements before and after the race.
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There is an increase in the number of participants in long distance races as well as the interest in knowing their effects on health. Our main objective is to analyse the characteristics of mountain marathon runner, its effects on health and whether there are differences between elite and non-elite runners.


The Serialmed-UP is a pilot, observational (cohort) prospective study carried out at the Ultra Pirineu Marathon 2017. A survey of health, nutrition and training habits was carried out among non-élite runners. Clinical and analytical variables were measured before and after the race. A descriptive and comparative study was performed between results before and after the race and among élite and non-élite runners.


29 runners participated in the study, 22 non-élite and 7 élite. The non-élite were mostly men with a median age of 39 years-old, with good cardiovascular health (90.9% with recent medical check-ups), with a high load of training (professional counselling in 72.7%) and good eating habits (counselling in 54.5%). Before the race, there were no clinical or analytical alterations but 33.3% had alterations in the ECG. The most notable findings after the race were weight loss (3% of body weight), acute renal failure (66.7%) and alterations in sodium (44%), being these alterations more significant in non-élite runners.


Long distance races have an impact on runners’ health, especially among non-élite runners. We need more research in order to offer personalised recommendations based on scientific evidence.

Physical endurance

Incremento del número de participantes en carreras de larga distancia, así como el interés por conocer sus efectos sobre la salud. El objetivo principal es analizar las características de los corredores de una maratón de montaña, sus efectos sobre la salud y si existen diferencias entre los corredores de élite y de no élite.


El estudio Serialmed-UP es un estudio piloto, observacional, de cohortes prospectivo que se realizó en la Maratón Ultra Pirineu 2017. Se realizó una encuesta sobre hábitos de salud, alimentarios y de entrenamiento a los corredores de no élite. Se midieron las variables clínicas y analíticas antes y después de la carrera. Se realizó un estudio descriptivo y comparativo entre resultados antes y después de la carrera entre corredores de élite y de no élite.


Participaron 29 corredores, 22 de no élite y 7 de élite. Los de no élite son principalmente varones de mediana edad de 39 años, con buena salud cardiovascular (el 90,9% con revisiones médicas recientes), con alta carga de entrenamientos (asesoramiento profesional en el 72,7%) y buenos hábitos alimentarios (asesoramiento en el 54,5%). Antes de la carrera no había alteraciones clínicas ni analíticas, pero el 33,3% presentaban alteraciones en el ECG. Los hallazgos más destacables post-carrera fueron pérdida de peso (3% del peso corporal), insuficiencia renal aguda (66,7%) y alteraciones en el sodio (44%), fueron más significativos en los corredores de no élite.


Las carreras de larga distancia tienen repercusión en la salud de los corredores, sobre todo en los de no élite. Es necesario realizar más investigaciones para poder aportar recomendaciones personalizadas basadas en la evidencia científica.

Palabras clave:
Resistencia física


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