UBC Research Participation

Over many years, Fat Dog athletes have been invited to participate in research projects being undertaken by graduate students from University of British Columbia.  Focus of the research and qualifications for participation have changed over the years, but we are proud to be part of several important research studies into various aspects of ultra running and its effects on the human body.

2023 Research Study

LEARN Laboratory & Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Physiology Laboratory, 
Physical Activity Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Unit
University of British Columbia


Runners and Pacers competing in the FatDog 120 Trail Race who will complete a distance of at least 50 km are invited to participate in this innovative research study. This investigation is examining the effects of prolonged/ultra-endurance exercise on your ability to process information (i.e., cognitive function), musculoskeletal function, and cardiovascular function. Pre- and post-race measurements will involve a maximum time commitment of 60-80 minutes each. The benefits of participating in this research study include: 

- a personalized assessment of cognitive, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal function

- a research t-shirt

- entrance into a draw for a Polar Heart Rate monitor

- access to a free assessment of maximal aerobic power (VO2max) at the University of British Columbia

Your confidentiality will be respected. No information disclosing your identity will be released or published without your specific consent to the disclosure. This study will be promoted through the internet (by pages on websites and via posts on social media channels) through the FatDog120 Trail race and our laboratory. Please note that if you choose to “post”, “like”, or “follow” a page or post related to the study (e.g., on Twitter) that you may be publicly associated with the study. Participants will be free to withdraw from the study at any time without penalty.

Our research team has been involved in ultra-endurance research for several years. Our team has participated in FatDog 120, the Western States Endurance Run (WS 100) from 2007-2009, and the Race Across America (RAAM). We have published many key articles in leading journals around the world. 

If you are interested in participating or would like further information regarding this research study, please contact Kai Kaufman kai.kaufman@ubc.ca 

Focus for 2022

Title: The effects of prolonged exercise on cognitive and cardiovascular function in ultra-endurance athletes.
Purpose: Understanding cognitive and cardiovascular functioning/fatigue after prolonged exercise, which will help us to identify potential interventions to reduce cognitive impairments and cardiac fatigue during prolonged exercise.  
Proposed Procedures: A research team will conduct anthropometric assessments (e.g., height, weight, waist circumference, grip strength, vertical jump, body composition), cognitive assessments pre and post-race (e.g., reaction time, and short term memory), and cardiovascular assessments pre and post race (e.g., blood pressure, and electrocardiography ECG).

Focus for 2023