Will Women Ultrarunners Surpass the Best Men?

July 8, 2021

A new science paper explores the subject at great depth, and concludes that it’s possible, but not likely. Women’s Running

Last October, Courtney Dauwalter won the Big’s Backyard Ultra in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, tying the course record. Over almost three days, she covered 283.33 miles to beat all the men. It seemed a giant leap for womankind in the long debate over male vs. female endurance.

Except that male runner Karel Sabbe was still going strong in a sister event in Antwerp, and he eventually logged 312.5 miles. Comparing the two performances, Sabbe beats Dauwalter by almost exactly 10 percent. That’s an important number. Remember it.