Participation in ultra-endurance running (UER) events continues to grow across ages, including youth athletes. The 50- and 100-km are the most popular distances among youth athletes. Most youth athletes are between 16–18 years; however, some runners younger than 12 years have successfully completed UER events. Parents, athletes, coaches, race directors, and medical professionals often seek advice regarding the safety of youth athletes participating in these events, especially with regard to potential short and long-term health consequences. UER may impact key organ systems during growth and development. We propose a decision-making process, based on current knowledge and the experience of the consensus group that addresses age regulations, medical and psychological well-being, training status and race-specific factors (such as distance, elevation change, remoteness, ambient temperatures, level of medical assistance, and type of provisions provided by the race organizers) to use until evidence of long-term consequences of UER in youth athletes is available. These recommendations are aimed at safe participation in UER events for youth athletes with a proper and individualized assessment.
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PubMed: MeSH publication types
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