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19 December 2012 | PR 12/231

Loughborough researcher aiming to make races safer after runner’s death

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Matthew Good

A Loughborough University academic is set to undertake research aimed at improving race medicine worldwide following the death of a runner in the Humber Half Marathon.

Phil Watson, a lecturer in nutrition in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, was asked to help after Hull businessman Matthew Good died of hyponatremia, a medical condition characterised by low blood sodium concentrations, which can lead to nausea, collapse and cerebral oedema.

His brother, Tim, set up the Matthew Good Foundation to research similar deaths and the charity is now working with the International Institute for Race Medicine (IIRM) to improve race medicine practices worldwide.

The IIRM has been formed over the past year from the world’s best medical directors from Chicago, Boston, New York and Berlin.

It aims to deliver distance learning modules to small and medium-sized races that don’t have the same expertise in race medicine as the big events.

From January, Watson will start a year-long project that will entail reviewing literature to discover what is known about cases of cardiac arrest, hyponatremia and hypothermia occurring during race events.

He will also analyse the medical practices adopted by races to see whether they implement the UK Athletics guidelines, and what information is provided to runners.

The ultimate aim is to provide accurate information to runners regarding all sorts of issues such as hydration, heat, warning signs, injuries and more.

Watson said: “They asked us to put together literature from this area and come up with some recommendations.

“They are working with the IIRM who are setting up an online resource for medical teams working in races.

“We are going to undertake a body of work which will feed back into IIRM and inform their website and the wider community.”

Tim Good said: “We’re now working with the university on a year-long project to review, analyse and report on all aspects of race medicine.

“As the leading establishment for sport science in the UK, we’re confident the resulting paper will be internationally regarded.”

He added: “Since Matt’s death we’ve seen more deaths in marathons across the world. It is clear there are gaps in two areas – the information available to runners and also the medical provisions offered by the marathon organisers."

The charity is backed by John Good and Sons, of which Matthew was a managing director.

More than £80,000 has been raised for the Foundation. A runner called Chris Price has raised more than £15,000 by running 32 half marathons this year, staff from the family business have held three different events to raise over £20,000, and the company donated more than £50,000 to add to the various donations from the general public and running community.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Chris Goddard
PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: C.J.Goddard@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 12 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Wednesday December 19, 2012 14:44