A continued study: The Yukon Arctic Ultra 2017

The Yukon Arctic Ultra 2017 has started in Whitehorse – Yukon on February 05th at 10:30 a.m. pacific time!
For the third time, we are investigating physiological changes in participants of the Yukon Arctic Ultra 430 mi runner-category. This time, the team from the “Center for Space Medicine Berlin” consists of Dr. Mathias Steinach and Doctoral Candidate Adriane Schalt. All baseline-measurements in Whitehorse went fine. A total of n=10 enthusiastic participants were recruited for this study. The weather at the start this time was at a pleasant -27°C. The study is again joined by Dr. Robert Coker and his team, from the “University of Alaska” as he provides equipment to also allow blood-analysis – again a great example for our international scientific collaboration, even under such extreme environmental conditions. Needless to say that we want to express our gratitude to the organizers, volunteers and of course our athletes of the Yukon Arctic Ultra 2017!


The “Science-Squad”: Adriane Schalt (Center for Space Medicine Berlin), Sheri and Robert Coker and Michelle Johannsen (all three University of Alaska Fairbanks) and Mathias Steinach (Center for Space Medicine Berlin).



Again, the “Yukon Arctic Ultra” traditionally follows the “Yukon Quest” dog-sled-race.



Athletes have to prove their capabilities to bivvy quickly…



… and to make a fire during a pre-race outdoor testing-course.



Baseline-measurements in Whitehorse.



Collecting blood from Yukon Arctic Ultra “Veteran” Enrico Ghidoni.



Pre-race-dinner the night before the race.



The participants of this years’ Yukon Arctic Ultra study.



Start of the 2017 Yukon Arctic Ultra in Whitehorse YK, February 5th 2017.



Processing the blood-samples.



Checking the status of the athletes as the race progresses.



Checkpoint in Braeburn (100 mi).



Checkpoint in Carmacks (173 mi).



Always (!) plug in your vehicle if you want it to start the next day. Temperatures in Carmacks have now dropped to a mere -37°C (Wed, Feb 8th).



Study-participant Enrico Ghidoni as he just arrives at the Carmacks-checkpoint (Wed, Feb 8th, 12:15 p.m.).



As always: stunningly gorgeous landscape in the Yukon!





…but very cold… (notice the ice resulting from frozen breath in just an one-hour-hike)…



…really very cold…
Greetings from the Yukon!


Research to Market Challenge – 2. Platz!


Meeting with Prof. Li-Fan Zhang in Xi’an/China

Prof. Li-Fan Zhang is one of the most recognized scientist in the field of space physiology and space medicine in China.

Already in 1992, Prof. Li-Fan Zhang visited the laboratory of Prof. Kirsch at the Department of Physiology of

the Free University of Berlin. Since then the co-operation between Chinese scientists and German expert was intensified.

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Forschung unter Extrembedingungen – Interview mit Prof. Gunga auf Deutschlandradio

MEASUREMENTS AT 100KM-24HR-HIKE “Mammutmarsch 2016”

Like last year, we again conducted measurements and collected blood samples during this year’s 100km-24hr-Hike (the “Mammutmarsch”) May 14th-15th, 2016. Although the race was well organized, the race had to be abandoned around 04:30 a.m. since a considerable number of runners appeared to be exhausted and in some cases not well prepared for this year’s event.

Nevertheless, we still were able to conduct our measurements with the majority of our 20 study participants at Checkpoint 44 km, and with a few of our study participants even at Checkpoint 74 km, and thus gathered valuable data.

We would like to express our gratitude to the organizers, assisting volunteers, and of course our study participants!

Checkpoint at 44 km.

Checkpoint at 44 km

Study participant at our "Field-Lab"

Study participant at our “Field-Lab”

Preparation of taking blood samples

Taking blood samples at the “Field Lab” at Checkpoint 44 km

Good veins - valuable blood

Good veins – valuable blood