Research Project 2016

Of course we had to continue doing research on this spectacular race! This year with more power and knowledge!


By Jørgen Melau | Chief Safety Officer

Last year we did the Cold Water Swim study. It created lots of new ideas and opportunities. And we met a few very skilled and truly nice scientists from the Norwegian School of Sport Science. So we just had to do more research together with them, on extreme endurance athletes. The results from the Cold Water Swim study is just about to be published.

This years project was led by MD Maria Mathiassen, my significant other. Togheter with Jonny Hisdal, Trine Stensrud, Julie Stang, Hege Nymo Østgaard and myself.

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Why did we do this?

Previous studies have shown that prolonged physical strain can increase the level of classic inflammation parameters and metabolites at levels which in ordinary patients would be perceived as highly pathological, but reference values and values for athletes who do not require medical treatment have to date not been determined.

Studies have also shown that prolonged and intensive training can induce bronchial hyperresponsiveness, increased inflammation of the respiratory tract, and a higher frequency of asthma, especially among endurance athletes. Substantial training over time, with high intensity, and in unfavorable environments, may lead to epithelial damage as a result of mechanical, thermal, and osmotic wear during high minute ventilation, and can over time induce remodeling of the respiratory system.

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What did we do?

  • Blood samples, their levels of classic biomarkers, such as CRP, CK, CK-MB, creatinine, pro-BNP and electrolytes.
  • A spirometry test (breathing test), sputum induction and concentration of NO in an exhaled breath were tested to measure their lung function.
  • They were also be asked to complete a survey that aims to map participants’ training loads during the year prior to the competition. We will also ask some questions pertaining to everyday lung symptoms. Their input into the survey is provided anonymously.

All data was collected at three stages: The first sample were drawn on the day before the competition, the second just after they crossed the finish line at Gaustadtoppen or Gaustablikk, and the final sample was drawn before they depart from Gaustablikk on the day after the competition.

About 40 athletes concluded all three stages of the tests. We are so happy that they all volountered for this important research project!