Many factors influence athletes’ performance including anthropometric, physiological and environmental parameters. High altitude is characterized by adverse environmental conditions that are not found at sea level. We investigated the influence of some anthropometric and physiological factors on performance in the context of the Mount Cameroon Race of Hope.
Age, height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate of 83 finisher athletes of both genders were collected during medical checkup, and race time was recorded at the arrival line. Measured and calculated data association with performance was assessed.
The race time was significantly influenced by the area of training (p=0.0022), and gender (p=0.0036) of athletes; BMI showed significant association with race time in the overall athletes’ population; this was confirmed in male (r=0.565; p=0.034) but not in female athletes (r=0.749; p=0.058). Weight class showed significant association to performance, the lighter athletes performing better than the heavier (p<0.00001). None of the investigated physiological parameters showed association to the race time.
We hypothesized that high altitude training and body size are significantly influential on athletes’ performance in the Mount Cameroon race of hope and similar mountain races.