The following email was sent to 2013 entrants on 4/9/13
Want to know how you can help advance science this year at the WSER?
We have several studies again this year, and we need your help for these to succeed. Please read the information below so you are aware of the studies and opportunities to help advance science. Note that we would like to recruit study participants in advance of registration for Studies 1 and 4, so please contact the investigators if you are interested in participating in those studies.
Marty Hoffman, MD
WSER Research Director
Study 1. Investigation into the cause of ultramarathoner’s eye (The ultra-eye study)
Have you ever experienced visual problems during an ultramarathon? The Ultra-Eye Study is directed at determining the underlying cause of these problems. If you have had visual problems during an ultramarathon, please take a short survey at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Ultraeye
You may participate in additional studies during the Run whether you’ve had visual problems during an ultramarathon or not. But, we are especially interested in getting those with prior vision problems to participate.
If you agree to participate, you will undergo a short (approximately 10 minute) series of eye tests once during the couple days before the Run, and then again shortly after finishing the Run. If you have abnormal findings after the Run, you will be asked to return for repeat tests until the abnormal findings resolve.
The study is under the direction of Dr. Marty Hoffman. Please contact him prior to the Run to participate in the study at (916) 843-9027 or email@example.com.
Study 2. Gastrointestinal distress in runners participating in the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run
Gastrointestinal (GI) distress is a common problem in ultrarunning. In 100-mile ultramarathons, GI symptoms are the primary reason for dropping out among non-finishers and are the second most common problem impacting race performance among finishers.
At this year’s race, we are doing a study to investigate the frequency and causes of GI symptoms. The more participants we have, the better. In fact, it will be ideal if every WSER runner participates in the study.
Participation includes simply completing a short, on-line, post-race questionnaire. You will receive an e-mail after the race with a link to the questionnaire. It will ask you to provide information about your GI symptoms during this and prior races.
Study 3. The impact of training longevity, gender and age on the 12-lead ECG of the veteran ultra-endurance athlete: An aid for pre-participation screening
The 12-lead ECG is a quick diagnostic test that provides us with important information related to the health of your heart and is used routinely for pre-participation heart screening in young athletes.
At this year’s race (24-48 hours prior to the race) we will be undertaking a study to establish the normal 12-lead ECG criteria for the veteran endurance athlete. The ECG will take 5 minutes while you will be asked to complete a short questionnaire as well as having your height, weight and blood pressure taken. If considered appropriate (usually 10% of the screening population), we may invite you for an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to improve the sensitivity of the screening – this will take an additional 20 minutes.
So if you are over 35 years old and want to know more about the health of your heart please volunteer for this study – the more participants we have the better. We can be found in the registration area on the Thursday and Friday before the race.
The study is under the direction of Dr. David Oxborough. If you require more detailed information or wish to participate in the study please contact him prior to the Run at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study 4. The impact of completing the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run on right ventricular function: A focused study on athletes completing in less than 24 hours
In 2011, we published data from the WSER highlighting a possible negative impact on the right side of the heart following completion of the race. This appeared to be in runners who completed the race in the quickest finishing time and therefore in order to build on the success of that study, we are proposing to repeat the study in runners who complete the race in less than 24 hours.
You will be required to have a 12-lead ECG and echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart), have your blood pressure taken and height and weight recorded 24-48 hours prior to the race, within 1 hour of completing the race and at around 6 hours into recovery. Each testing point will take approximately 20-30 minutes.
If you are interesting in learning about the health of your heart and the cardiac impact of completing the WSER, please volunteer for this study. We are looking for approximately 20 participants. Please contact the study director, Dr. David Oxborough (email@example.com), prior to the Run to participate or to get further details about the study.
Study 5. Injury pattern among 100-mile ultramarathon runners
Our knowledge and understanding of common injuries and illnesses during ultramarathon training is limited.
At this year’s race, we are doing a study to investigate the frequency and causes of common injuries and illnesses during training. We are hoping to get every WSER runner to participate in this study. This is a multi-center study involving at least one additional ultramarathon.
Participation includes simply completing an on-line pre-race questionnaire which should take only 10 minutes to complete. You will be asked to provide information about your training pattern, and injuries and illnesses encountered during training and prior races. You will be notified by email of the link to the questionnaire about 2 weeks before the Run.
Study 6. The relationship of foot strike pattern, stride parameters, and creatine phosphokinase during a 161-kilometer ultramarathon
You’re most likely aware of discussion about barefoot/minimalist shoe running and foot strike pattern. We examined foot strike pattern at the 2012 WSER and had some fascinating findings. We will continue this work by capturing video at several locations during the 2013 Run. You need not do anything special to participate in this study other than run single file through our filming zones. Since we will be relating foot strike pattern with blood CPK concentration, we also encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to have your blood work done immediately after finishing*.
The study is under the direction of Dr. Marty Hoffman. Please contact him at (916) 843-9027 or firstname.lastname@example.org is you have any questions.
*Unfortunately, the WSER was unable to secure blood work this year. We now hope to do this study in 2014.