Document Type


Publication Date



School of Medicine


Emergency Medicine


Objectives: The purpose was to examine characteristics of an Appalachian population of runners. The primary aim was to examine risk factors for running related injury (RRI), including mileage per week, experience, and use of applications/training programs. A second aim was to characterize dietary habits among runners. Methods: This study was conducted in September 2015 in North Central Appalachian West Virginia. The Morgantown Marathon consists of three races offered every September: an 8K, half marathon, and full marathon. Surveys were offered to runners ages 18 and older during packet pick-up. For this survey study, questions consisted of multiple choice and open-ended responses, including demographics, injury history, nutrition habits, and training questions. Results: In September 2015, 444 runners completed the survey. Runners with moderate experience (2-5 years) and running moderate weekly mileage (21-30 miles) had higher RRI. Reported RRI was similar for runners using an app, online program, or local or online coaching (20-29%). In our study, most runners reported following a balanced diet or eating “whatever”. Runners following a vegan diet reported the lowest RRI (0%) while those following gluten free diets reported the highest (45%). Conclusions: Increasing weekly running mileage and use of a training program did not appear to be associated with RRI. Most runners followed a balanced diet or eating “whatever,” while those following a vegan diet appeared to have lower reported RRI. Additional larger studies are needed to better characterize these findings and to identify trends in this population.




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.