Using Firstbeat in Monitoring an Extreme Running Race

During the last days of March 2014, our capital Budapest became a place for an exciting sport event called the ’Running race in bomb-proof military equipment’.

This extraordinary sport has a Guinness-record, held by a US Navy Officer. An ultramarathonist and Hungarian Military Bomb Expert, Zoltan Meszaros decided to call the recorder out for a challenge and take away the Guinness trophy.

The race is a 1-mile run in a full bomb-proof equipment, which actually weights 40 kg on average. While this bomb-proof equipment is a closed suit (similar to a space astronauts’ one), this race means a high-risky challenge, as taking off the special suit takes several minutes and requires extra hands in case of any ER event. Besides the medical surgery risk and the fact of challenging the Guinness-record, this extraordinary event has also been followed by high level of publicity which obviously put a lot of pressure on the runner officer.

Real-Time Monitoring with Firstbeat Sports

Fusion Vital, a distributor partner of Firstbeat Technologies offered an accurate solution for keeping the risks of this extraordinary challenge at minimum. With Firstbeat SPORTS software, we offered a real-time physiology support both for the ER & military staff and the race organizers during the event. The tool allowed us to have a full control of what was happening within the body
of the athletes during hard physical and mental pressure of this extreme workload and prevent unnecessary injuries and risks of collapsing.

The real-time measurement proved to be working properly even from under the bomb-proof equipment since the receiver unit only missed a minimum amount of signal. Continuous measurement and opportunity of prompt intervention made the participant more relieved, thus they could focus on the race instead of worrying about the possible distressing issues. This support helped the Hungarian athlete to compete with the reassuring sense of prompt assistance in case of any trouble.

Finally, Zoltán Mészáros won the race with 1 second faster laps than the Guinness recorder US Navy officer did before and became the official Guinness Record holder for this specific sport event!

After Race Recovery

We also followed his recovery after the extreme workload with Firstbeat Bodyguard 2 HRV recording device to measure his recovery over an 72-hrs with Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment Analysis software. Mészáros appreciated the Lifestyle Assessment feedback. Although being an experienced marathoner, he had never participated in a thorough recovery analysis before.

Unsurprisingly, the sleeping period after the tough race did not meet the desired quality level and showed delayed recovery. The sportsman found the lifestyle consulting support very unique and valuable since it offered comprehensive data about all his activities round-the-clock: Sleeping and leisure time activities, training plans and physiological knowledge about himself. We at Fusion Vital were excited to be part of the support team behind such an excellent sport and looking forward to support more athletes to optimize their training and recovery.

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Gergely Vada Guest Author

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