Latest news from Loughborough University

24 Apr 2015

Help Loughborough University to understand how medical care is managed at races worldwide

Researchers at Loughborough University are calling on race and medical directors to complete a questionnaire examining how medical care is currently managed at endurance running races worldwide.

The Loughborough team at the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS) are working with the International Institute for Race Medicine (IIRM) and the Matthew Good Foundation on the research, in order to create educational resources and advice on medical best practice at long distance endurance races – predominantly half and full marathons. The resources will be aimed at race and medical directors, emergency medical providers and participants.

The questionnaire, which is being distributed to race and medical directors globally, is available to complete online. The researchers are interested in hearing from race organisers from all over the world who have been involved in locally organised 5k and 10k races all the way up to World Marathon Majors.

The findings will be used to gain a picture of current medical care and provisions, help identify best practice, and develop guidelines for races of varying sizes.

The research team has already visited World Marathon Majors including London, Chicago, Boston and New York to see how medical best practice is implemented at the events and to ascertain how these models can be adopted by races on a smaller scale.

Dr Stephen Mears, Loughborough Research Associate, said: “We are committed to developing a medical care manual through the IIRM, which we hope to implement at endurance events worldwide, but to do so, we need as many race and medical directors to complete the questionnaire as possible.

“The questionnaire’s findings will help us identify the optimum level of medical support needed at events so that each race can deliver the best possible care based on resources and race numbers.

“We hope to better understand the best way to treat and minimise conditions such as cardiac arrest, exertional heat illness and water intoxication (hyponatremia) as these can occur in endurance races. With the help of race and medical directors, we can prevent some of the more serious cases associated with these conditions by releasing guidelines for the most effective treatment.”

Chris Troyanos, IIRM Executive Director and Boston Marathon Medical Co-ordinator, said: “The running industry has witnessed tremendous growth over the past 10 years.  Advancements in runner tracking, data entry, and timing have allowed for larger field sizes for every type of event. During these events, the safety of the participants and the general public should be the event's first priority.

“As a group of medical professionals, we must keep up with the demand for appropriate medical care and the education that comes with that care. This first of a kind study will show us what is currently being offered and will also pave the way when providing scalable medical coverage at all events.”

To complete the questionnaire by the deadline of Sunday 31 May, click here


Notes for editors

Article reference number: 15/60

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 has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.


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Judy Wing

PR Manager
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697