Editor's Summary

21 December 2006

Take it uneasy

A growing number of athletes are rejecting the comfort zone of track and field and team sports. Instead they push their bodies to close to the limit in sports such as the 'extreme ultra-endurance' events that make the triathlon look like a walk, swim and ride in the park. Where athletes go, scientists will follow, trying to work out if these enthusiasts are mad, or driven, or both.

News FeaturePhysiology: Freaks of nature?

Ultraendurance racers torture their bodies and minds to achieve near-impossible physical feats. Is it an exceptional genetic make-up or the vestiges of human evolution? Helen Pearson reports.