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Announcing a 2-day medical and scientific conference . . .Medicine & Science in Ultra-Endurance Sports

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About our Research Program

A need to formalize research activities at the Western States Endurance Run was recognized in 2005. In early 2006, the development of a Research Committee was approved by the Western States Board with the charge of:

  1. Assuring proper human studies requirements were being met
  2. Expanding funding opportunities
  3. Promoting greater quality and publishable research from the event
  4. Proposing specific lines of research

The Research Committee was developed, and research proposal submission processes and funding opportunities were made available beginning with the 2007 Western States Endurance Run. Through this initiative, the Western States Endurance Run supports basic, applied, clinical and behavioral research associated with the event. Research directly applicable to ultramarathon running, as well as research using the event as a model for other conditions, will be considered.

Research Proposal Application Process

All research performed in association with the Western States Endurance Run, whether funded by the organization or not, must be approved by the Research Committee. Researchers contemplating submissions are highly encouraged to discuss with Dr. Marty Hoffman well in advance of the submission deadline.

Proposals should include the following sections:

  1. Cover Page: Include the title of the project, principal investigator’s name and contact information.
  2. Lay Abstract of the Project (1 page): Include the headings Introduction, Purpose, and Methods.
  3. Biographical Sketches of the Research Team (maximum 3 pages each): Include information regarding Education, Professional Experience, Memberships and Honors, Research Support, and Publications.
  4. Budget (if requesting funds from Western States Endurance Run): Please note that funding is limited to the range of a few thousand dollars. Funding for major equipment items and salary support will not be considered. In general, if subject reimbursement is appropriate, it is recommended that gift certificates to the Western States store be used.
  5. Narrative of Proposal (maximum 5 pages): Include the headings Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Preliminary Data (if available), Experimental Design and Methodology, Anticipated Problems, and Reference Citations.

The annual deadline for receipt of proposals is January 10. All proposals should be submitted electronically to Dr. Marty Hoffman at research@wser.org.

Decisions regarding approval of proposed research will be based upon the importance of the work, feasibility of the work, likelihood that the work will result in a scientific publication, and evidence of an appropriate risk to benefit ratio and that the work will result in limited interference with the runners and the event.

Safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects involved in research performed at the Western States Endurance Run is the responsibility of the institution with which the researcher is affiliated. Research will not be allowed until a certificate is received assuring the work has been approved by an institutional review board (IRB). If the proposed work is approved to be performed at the Western States Endurance Run, the following information will be required prior to initiation of the project:

  1. Certification of IRB approval
  2. Copy of IRB approved human subjects consent form unless the protocol is approved with waiver of consent
  3. Copy of IRB approved recruitment information

PROPOSALS SUPPORTED SINCE 2007

2014

The electrocardiogram of the endurance athlete: The acute and chronic impact of completing the Western States Endurance Run
Investigators: David Oxborough, Keith George, Rob Shave, John Somauroo, Francois Haddad, Euan Ashley

Psychological predictors of performance in a 100-mile ultramarathon run: An exploratory study
Investigators: Dolores Christensen, Britton W. Brewer, Jasmin C. Hutchinson

Incidence and severity of GI distress during a 161-km ultramarathon and its association with hydration status, core temperature and endotoxemia
Investigators: Taylor R. Valentino, Kristin J. Stuempfle, Tamara Hew-Butler, Martin D. Hoffman

2013

Ultrarunners Longitudinal TRAcking (ULTRA) Study
Investigator: Martin D. Hoffman

Investigation into the cause of ultramarathoner’s eye (The ultra-eye study)
Investigators: Martin D. Hoffman, Kim Corrigan, Tracy Høeg

Gastrointestinal distress in runners participating in the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run
Investigators: Kristin J. Stuempfle and Martin D. Hoffman

The relationship of foot strike pattern, stride parameters, and creatine phosphokinase during a 161-kilometer ultramarathon
Investigators: Mark E. Kasmer, Martin D. Hoffman

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
Investigators: David Oxborough, Keith George, Rob Shave, John Somauroo, Euan Ashley

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
Investigators: David Oxborough, Keith George, Rob Shave, John Somauroo, Euan Ashley

Injury pattern among 100-mile ultramarathon runners
Investigators: Morteza Khodaee, John C. Hill, Martin D. Hoffman

2012

The effects of ultra-endurance sport and carbohydrate restriction on membrane fatty acids, inflammation, and insulin sensitivity
Investigators: Stephen D. Phinney, Jeff Volek, Peter Defty, D. Bibus, Martin D. Hoffman

Foot strike pattern and gait changes in a 100-mile ultramarathon
Investigators: Martin D. Hoffman, Mark E. Kasmer, Jeremy Wren

2011

Drinking behavior, dehydration and exercise-associated hyponatremia in runners of the Western States Endurance Run
Investigators: Martin D. Hoffman, Kevin Fogard, James Winger, Tamara Hew-Butler, Kristin J. Stuempfle

2010

The incidence, etiology and treatment of exercise-associated hyponatremia in runners participating in the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run
Investigators: Tamara Hew-Butler, Martin D. Hoffman, Douglas Lewis, Kristin J. Stuempfle, Joseph G. Verbalis

2009

The cardiovascular consequences of completing the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run: the impact of athlete age
Investigators: Rob Shave, Keith George

Sodium balance in runners participating in a 160 km footrace
Investigators: Tamara Hew-Butler, Ian R. Rogers, Kristin J. Stuempfle, Louise B. Weschler, Martin D. Hoffman

The efficacy of oral versus intravenous hypertonic saline in the treatment of exercise-associated hyponatremia without altered mental status
Investigators: Tamara Hew-Butler, Ian R. Rogers, Kristin J. Stuempfle, Louise B. Weschler, Martin D. Hoffman

2008

The cardiovascular consequences of completing the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run: the impact of athlete age
Investigators: Rob Shave, Keith George

Food and fluid intake during the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run
Investigators: Marta Van Loan, Martin D. Hoffman, Daniel Lebus, Gretchen Casazza, Alison Ganong

2007

The impact of completing the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run upon cardiac function and the release of cardiac biomarkers
Investigators: Rob Shave, Keith George

Total energy expenditure, water turnover and dietary intake of ultrarunners
Investigators: Brent C. Ruby, Charles L. Dumke, Dustin Silvka, John Cuddy, Walter Hailes, Stephanie Harger

ImmuneGuard/Chia as a countermeasure to immunosuppression and infection risk induced by prolonged intense physical stress
Investigators: David C. Nieman, Dru A. Henson; Steven McAnulty, John Quindry, Charles L. Dumke

Publications

The following scientific publications have resulted from studies at, or related to, the Western States Endurance Run. If you would like a copy of one of these papers for which a direct link is not available, please email Dr. Marty Hoffman.

2014

Hoffman MD, Stuempfle KJ, Sullivan K, Weiss RH. Exercise-associated hyponatremia with exertional rhabdomyolysis: Importance of proper treatment. Clin Nephrol. (in press)

Hoffman MD, Stuempfle KJ. Hydration strategies, weight change and performance in a 161-km ultramarathons. Res Sports Med. (in press)

Kupchak BR, Kraemer WJ, Hoffman MD, Phinney SD, Volek JS. The impact of an ultramarathon on hormonal and biochemical parameters in men. Wilderness Environ Med (in press)

Hoffman MD, Pasternak A, Rogers IR, Khodaee M, Hill JC, Townes DA, Scheer BV, Krabak BJ, Basset P, Lipman GS. Medical services at ultra-endurance foot races in remote environments: medical issues and consensus guidelines. Sports Med (in press)

Hoffman MD. Pacing by winners of a 161-km mountain ultramarathon. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014 March 19 [Epub ahead of print]  View Abstract

Hoffman MD, Krishnan E. Health and exercise-related medical issues among 1,212 ultramarathon runners: Baseline findings from the Ultrarunners Longitudinal TRAcking (ULTRA) Study. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(1): e83867. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083867 View Full Paper

2013

Hoffman MD, Chen L, Krishnan E. Body mass index and its correlates in 1,212 ultramarathon runners: Baseline findings from the ULTRA Study. J Phys Act Health. 2013 Dec 31. [Epub ahead of print] View Abstract

Kasmer ME, Wren JJ, Hoffman MD. Foot strike pattern and gait changes during a 161-km ultramarathon. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Oct 21. [Epub ahead of print] View Abstract

Owen BE, Rogers IR, Hoffman MD, Stuempfle KJ, Lewis D, Fogard K, Verbalis JG, Hew-Butler T. Efficacy of oral versus intravenous hypertonic saline in runners with hyponatremia. J Sci Med Sport. 2013 Sep 18. [Epub ahead of print] View Abstract

Kupchak BR, Volk BM, Kunces LJ, Kraemer WJ, Hoffman MD, Phinney SD, Volek JS. Alterations in coagulatory and fibrinolytic systems following an ultra-marathon. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013;113(11):2705-12. View Abstract

Bennett BL, Hew-Butler T, Hoffman MD, Rogers IR, Rosner MH. In Reply to clinical practice guidelines for treatment of exercise-associated hyponatremia. Wilderness Environ Med. 2013 Aug 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Lewis DP, Hoffman MD, Stuempfle KJ, Owen BE, Rogers IR, Verbalis JG, Hew-Butler T. The need for salt: does a relationship exist between cystic fibrosis and exercise-associated hyponatremia? J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Jul 26. [Epub ahead of print] View Abstract

Hoffman MD, Krishnan E. Exercise habits of ultramarathon runners: baseline findings from the ULTRA Study. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(11):2939-45. View Abstract View Full Paper

Hew-Butler T, Stuempfle KJ, Hoffman MD. Bone: an acute buffer of plasma sodium during exhaustive exercise? Horm Metab Res. 2013;45(10):697-700. View Abstract

Bennett BL, Hew-Butler T, Hoffman MD, Rogers IR, Rosner MH. Wilderness Medical Society practice guidelines for treatment of exercise-associated hyponatremia. Wilderness Environ Med. 2013;24(3):228-40. View Abstract View Full Paper

Hoffman MD, Fogard K, Winger J, Hew-Butler T, Stuempfle KJ. Characteristics of 161-km ultramarathon finishers developing exercise-associated hyponatremia. Res Sports Med. 2013;21(2):164-75. View Abstract

Winger JM, Hoffman MD, Hew-Butler TD, Stuempfle KJ, Dugas JP, Fogard K, Dugas LR. The effect of physiology and hydration beliefs on race behavior and postrace sodium in 161-km ultramarathon finishers. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2013;8(5):536-41. View Abstract

Hoffman MD, Hew-Butler T, Stuempfle KJ. Exercise-associated hyponatremia and hydration status in 161-km ultramarathoners. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013;45(4):784-91. View Abstract

Hoffman MD, Stuempfle KJ, Fogard K, Hew-Butler T, Winger J, Weiss RH. Urine dipstick analysis for identification of runners susceptible to acute kidney injury following an ultramarathon. J Sports Sci. 2013;31(1):20-31. View Abstract

Stuempfle KJ, Hoffman MD, Hew-Butler T. Association of gastrointestinal distress in ultramarathoners with race diet. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2013;23(2):103-9. View Abstract

2012

Millet GY, Hoffman MD, Morin JB. Last word on viewpoint: sacrificing economy to improve running performance–a reality in the ultramarathon? J Appl Physiol. 2012;113(3):513.

Millet GY, Hoffman MD, Morin JB. Sacrificing economy to improve running performance–a reality in the ultramarathon? J Appl Physiol. 2012;113(3):507-9.

Hoffman MD, Fogard K. Demographic characteristics of 161-km ultramarathon runners. Res Sports Med. 2012;20:59-69. View Abstract View Full Paper

Hoffman MD, Ingwerson JL, Rogers IR, Stuempfle KJ, Hew-Butler T. Increasing creatine phosphokinase concentration at the 161-km Western States Endurance Run. Wilderness Environ Med. 2012;23:56-60. View Abstract View Full Paper

Hoffman, MD, Stuempfle KJ, Rogers IR, Weschler LB, Hew-Butler T. Hyponatremia in the 2009 161-km Western States Endurance Run. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2012;7(1):6-10. View Abstract

2011

Stuempfle KJ, Hoffman MD, Louise B. Weschler LB, Rogers IR, Hew-Butler T. Race diet of finishers and non-finishers in a 100 mile (161 km) mountain footrace. J Am Col Nutr. 2011;30(6):529-35. View Abstract

Wegelin JA, Hoffman MD. Variables associated with odds of finishing and finish time in a 161-km ultramarathon. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011;111:145-53. View Abstract View Full Paper

Hoffman MD, Fogard K. Factors related to successful completion of a 161-km ultramarathon. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2011;6:25-37. View Abstract View Full Paper

Rogers IR, Hook G, Stuempfle KJ, Hoffman MD, Hew-Butler T. An intervention study of oral versus intravenous hypertonic saline administration in ultramarathon runners with exercise-associated hyponatremia: a preliminary randomized trial. Clin J Sports Med. 2011;21(3):200-3. View Abstract

Hew-Butler T, Hoffman MD, Stuempfle KJ, Rogers, IR, Morgenthaler NG, Verbalis JG. Changes in copeptin and bioactive vasopressin in runners with and without hyponatremia. Clin J Sports Med. 2011;21(3):211-217. View Abstract

Oxborough D, Shave R, Warburton D, Williams K, Oxborough A, Charlesworth S, Foulds H, Hoffman MD, Birch K, George K. Dilatation and dysfunction of the right ventricle immediately following ultra-endurance exercise: exploratory insights from conventional 2-dimensional and speckle tracking echocardiography. Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2011;4:253-263. View Abstract

George KP, Warburton DE, Oxborough D, Scott JM, Esch BT, Williams K, Charlesworth S, Foulds H, Oxborough A, Hoffman MD, Shave R. Upper limits of physiological cardiac adaptation in ultramarathon runners. J Am Col Cardiol. 2011;57(6):754-5. View Abstract

Parise C, Hoffman MD. Influence of temperature and performance level on pacing a 161-km trail ultramarathon. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2011;6:243-51. View Abstract View Full Paper

2010

Hoffman MD. Performance trends in 161-km ultramarathons. Int J Sports Med. 2010;31:31-7. View Abstract

Hoffman MD, Lebus DK, Ganong AC, Casazza GA, Van Loan MD. Body composition of 161-km ultramarathoners. Int J Sports Med. 2010;31:106-9. View Abstract

Hoffman MD, Ong JC, Wang G. Historical analysis of participation in 161-km ultramarathons in North America. Int J History Sport. 2010; 27 (11):1877-91. View Abstract View Full Paper

Lebus DK, Casazza GA, Hoffman MD, Van Loan MD. Can changes in body mass and total body water accurately predict hyponatremia following a 161-km running race? Clin J Sports Med. 2010; 20:193-199. View Abstract

Bruso JR, Hoffman MD, Rogers IR, Lee L, Towle G, Hew-Butler T. Rhabdomyolysis and hyponatremia: a cluster of five cases at the 161-km 2009 Western States Run Endurance. Wilderness Environ Med. 2010;21:303-8. View Abstract View Full Paper

2009

Scott JM, Esch BT, Shave R, Warburton DER, Gaze D, George K. Cardiovascular consequences of completing a 160-km ultramarathon. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41:25–33. View Abstract

Utter AC, Nieman DC, Kang J, Dumke CL, Quindry JC, McAnulty SR, McAnulty LS. Quercetin does not affect rating of perceived exertion in athletes during the Western States endurance run. Res Sports Med. 2009;17(2):71-83. View Abstract

Hoffman MD, Wegelin J. The Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run: participation and performance trends. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009; 41:2191-8. View Abstract

2008

Quindry JC, McAnulty SR, Hudson MB, Hosick P, Dumke C, McAnulty LS, Henson D, Morrow JD, Nieman D. Oral quercetin supplementation and blood oxidative capacity in response to ultramarathon competition. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2008;18(6):601-16. View Abstract

Hoffman MD. Anthropometric characteristics of ultramarathoners. Int J Sports Med. 2008;29:1-4. View Abstract

Hoffman MD. Ultramarathon trail running comparison of performance-matched men and women. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40:1681-6. View Abstract

Henson D, Nieman D, Davis JM, Dumke C, Gross S, Murphy A, Carmichael M, Jenkins DP, Quindry J, McAnulty S, McAnulty L, Utter A, Mayer E. Post-160-km race illness rates and decreases in granulocyte respiratory burst and salivary IgA output are not countered by quercetin ingestion. Int J Sports Med. 2008;29(10):856-63. View Abstract

2007

Dumke CL, Nieman DC, Oley K, Lind RH. Ibuprofen does not affect serum electrolyte concentrations following an ultradistance run. Br J Sports Med. 2007;41(8):492-6. View Abstract

McAnulty SR, Owens JT, McAnulty LS, Nieman DC, Morrow JD, Dumke CL, Milne GL. Ibuprofen use during extreme exercise: effects on oxidative stress and PGE2. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39(7):1075-9. View Abstract

McAnulty S, McAnulty L, Nieman D, Morrow J, Dumke CL, Henson DA. Effect of NSAID on muscle injury and oxidative stress. Int J Sports Med. 2007;28(11):909-15. View Abstract

Hoffman MD, Lee J, Zhao H, Tsodikov A. Pain perception after running a 100-mile ultramarathon Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2007;88(8):1042-8. View Abstract

Nieman DC, Henson DA, Davis JM, Dumke CL, Gross SJ, Jenkins DP, Murphy EA, Carmichael MD, Quindry JC, McAnulty SR, McAnulty LS, Utter AC, Mayer EP. Quercetin ingestion does not alter cytokine changes in athletes competing in the Western States Endurance Run. J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2007;27(12):1003-11. View Abstract

2006

Nieman DC, Henson DA, Dumke CL, Lind RH, Shooter LR, Gross SJ. Relationship between salivary IgA secretion and upper respiratory tract infection following a 160 km race. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2006;46(1):158-62. View Abstract

Dumke C L, Shooter L, Lind RH, Nieman DC. Indirect calorimetry during ultradistance running-a case report. J Sports Sci Med. 2006;5(4):692-8.

Publication Summary: Citation refers to study which measured the energy expenditure using a portable metabolic cart of a single subject while running the first 40 miles of the Western States Endurance Run. Based on the findings, it was estimated that the energy cost of running the full 100 miles would be over 13,000 kcals.

Nieman DC, Henson DA, Dumke CL, Oley K, McAnulty SR, Davis JM, Murphy EA, Utter AC, Lind RH, McAnulty LS, Morrow JD. Ibuprofen use, endotoxemia, inflammation, and plasma cytokines during ultramarathon competition. Brain Behav Immun. 2006;20(6):578-84. View Abstract

2005

Nieman DC, Dumke CL, Henson DA, McAnulty SR, Gross SJ, Lind RH. Muscle damage is linked to cytokine changes following a 160 km running race. Brain Behav Immun. 2005;19(5):398-403. View Abstract

2003

Nieman DC, Dumke CI, Henson DA, McAnulty SR, McAnulty LS, Lind RH, Morrow JD. Immune and oxidative changes during and following the Western States Endurance Run. Int J Sports Med. 2003; 24(7): 541-7. View Abstract

1993

Crenshaw AG, Fridén J, Hargens AR, Lang GH, Thornell LE. Increased technetium uptake is not equivalent to muscle necrosis: scintigraphic, morphological and intramuscular pressure analyses of sore muscles after exercise. Acta Physiol Scand. 1993;148(2):187-98. View Abstract

1991

Crenshaw AG, Fridén J, Thornell LE, Hargens AR. Extreme endurance training: evidence of capillary and mitochondria compartmentalization in human skeletal muscle. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1991;63(3-4):173-8. View Abstract

1981

Bortz WM II, Angwin P, Mefford IN, Boarder MR, Noyce N, Barchas JD. Catecholamines, dopamine, and endorphin levels during extreme exercise. N Engl J Med. 1981;305(8):466-7.

Publication Summary: Citation refers to a Letter to the Editor reporting that there was a significant rise above pre-race levels in blood concentrations of norepinephrine, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC; a dopamine metabolite) and ß-endorphin while running the 1980 Western States Endurance Run. The authors indicate that the findings suggest an important interaction between the central nervous system and the periphery as a result of high-level physical exertion.

Research Committee Members

Marty Hoffman, MD, FACSM, FAWM
Chief of PM&R, VA Northern California Health Care System and Professor of PM&R, University of California Davis
Sacramento, CA
research@wser.org
Rob ShaveRob Shave, PhD
Professor and Director of Research, Physiology and Health, Cardiff Metropolitan University
United Kingdom
Rob.Shave@brunel.ac.uk
Guillaume MilletKristin J. Stuempfle, PhD, ATC, FACSM
Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA
kstuempf@gettysburg.edu
Bob WeissRobert H. Weiss, MD
Professor of Medicine, University of California Davis and Chief of Nephrology, VA Northern California Health Care System
Sacramento, CA
medical@wser.org
Charles SavageCharles Savage
WSER Board Member

Want to Help Support our Research?

Good research doesn’t come cheap! But we get a lot out of each dollar we put towards research, as you can see from the list of research publications above. If you want to help with our advancement of new knowledge related to ultramarathon running, please consider a tax-deductible donation (WSER Tax ID #094-2902794). You can contact Dr. Marty Hoffman to make your donation and to discuss how your contribution will be used.

We thank the following…

Past corporate and individual sponsors of our research program.

maverickbankcard
moeben
snmh

Jose Suarez

23andme

Karsten Louis Solheim

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