Blood samples were taken before and after a cross country race over the marathon distance of 42 km. There was a rise in blood glucose and plasma free fatty acids and glycerol associated with a rise in plasma cortisol and glucagon but the fall in insulin was not significant (P > 0.05). Plasma potassium and albumin concentrations increased, calcium decreased and there was no change in sodium or bicarbonate concentrations. There was an increase in plasma urea, creatinine, uric acid, bilirubin and isocitrate dehydrogenase but no change in alkaline phosphatase. There was a rise in plasma creatine kinase. These results of a competitive race are compared with those of the 80 km non-competitive Golden Horseshoe Ride.
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