Crowdfunding since 2010
The NURMI-Study (NURMI – Nutrition and Running high Mileage) is an international interdisciplinary comparative study of running, the aim of which is to create a broad body of scientific evidence comparing the sporting ability of omnivores, vegetarian and vegan runners.
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Funding period
5/6/15 - 6/26/15
October 2014 – December 2018
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Minimum amount (Start level): €
5,000 €
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What is this project all about?

The leader of the study, Dr Wirnitzer, has designed the NURMI Study as a follow-up to her mountain-bike field study and set up a second pilot study in order to build on this foundation stone.
The NURMI Study has been set up as an interdisciplinary (nutrition, medicine and sports science) and international (researchers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland) comparative study of running in order to answer some of the still unanswered scientific questions and create a broad basis for well-founded evidence of the link between endurance and diet (omnivorous, vegetarian, vegan).

What is the project goal and who is the project for?

Although the number of vegetarians and vegans worldwide is increasing, it is difficult to find a group of vegetarian and vegan athletes taking part in the same competition to provide a sufficiently large sample for a study.
The number of vegetarian-vegan racing cyclists is still very small. However the proportion of runners who are vegetarian and vegan is several times greater ("Everybody runs!"), so the broad appeal[ of running as a sport and the large number of keen runners would seem to form the basis for a large sample.
The aim of this comparative study of running is to investigate and compare the endurance of omnivores, vegetarians and vegans. The first stage of the NURMI Study will therefore examine epidemiological aspects (e.g. age, sex and breakdown of omnivorous, vegetarian and vegan runners at running events), then the second and third stages will investigate the link between diet and running performance.
However a large sample of participants is needed in order to produce representative results and scientific evidence.

Well, we're allowed to dream!
However the NURMI team has sets itself the high target of 10,000 participants, which will provide a particularly meaningful sample – but we didn't pluck this figure out of the air!
A study carried out in the US in 1997, the National Runners' Health Study, managed to find the incredible number of 9,242 runners as far back as 17 years ago.
It is this sort of impressive figure that we are aiming for – a sort of European counterpart.

Publicity for the NURMI Study resulted in the recruitment of the minimum of 1,500 participants only 2 months after the Study began on 1 October 2014!
With currently more than 3,000 runners signed up the NURMI Study is on track to reach the target of 10,000 participants. And there are still 8 months to go!

Why would you support this project?

Without support such a large scientific project would simply not be feasible since research costs money – a lot of money!
The NURMI Study will cost more than €800,000. Finance is currently obtained from research funding and sponsorship.

So join in!
… as a fan, supporter and participant and make an important contribution to your sport – running!
Some great surprises are already waiting for you to thank you for being one of our visionary supporters.

The NURMI Study is the first one of its kind in the world. Never before has the link between running performance and diet (omnivorous, vegetarian, vegan) been investigated on so broad a basis during actual competitions.
With your support we can succeed in reaching for the stars (science) together. Help us to shape the future of running!

We are working flat out on the NURMI Study.
Your support can enable important aspects to be covered, more participants to be recruited, interim goals to be financed, all queries to be dealt with and answered and the future of whole Study to be secured.

If you too would like to support the NURMI Study we should be very grateful for your financial help for this trail-blazing project.

How will we use the money if the project is successfully funded?

Here is a brief overview of expenses:

• Maintaining and running the IT infrastructure (incl. website, mailing list, social media, survey/questionnaire platforms)

• Recruiting participants and promoting the NURMI Study (printing costs, social media, cost of travelling to running events and talks etc.)

• Information for starter packs for runners at events

• Cost of travelling to running events (to recruit participants and give talks) and to meetings of the NURMI team of researchers

• Ethical approval (for Austria, Germany & Switzerland)

• Statistical data analysis by SPSS specialists

• Research-funding management (national/international research environment, requests for funding)

• Miscellaneous administrative costs (lawyer, tax adviser etc.)

Everyone knows that these days nothing works without IT! This broad and very complex scientific study requires an IT infrastructure that works smoothly in order to provide NURMI participants with online questionnaires simply and easily and to ensure that data can be collected and processed securely.
We shall continue to collect data and therefore also to recruit participants until 31 December 2015. Until then we shall work tirelessly to recruit each individual runner in order to get as close as possible to the goal of 10,000 participants. That means another eight months of publicizing the Study (in print and electronically), travelling to running events and giving talks.
In order to be able to carry out the Study and undertake research at the highest scientific level the researchers must meet to exchange and discuss information about the scientific aspects of the work (parameters, data analysis, results etc.), how to put plans into action and specialist scientific publications.
This also requires conducting investigations in accordance with internationally recognised ethical standards such as the Declaration of Helsinki. Another precondition for undertaking research correctly is ethical approval in each of the countries concerned (Austria, Germany and Switzerland).
The large number of data sets and the complexity of the questions mean that professional data analysis by SPSS specialists is required.
Research-funding management increases NURMI's chances of being successful in obtaining national and international research grants.
It is not only companies that need legal and tax advice but also scientific projects such as the NURMI Study.
All that means not only administrative work but financial expense and is linked to costs.

Who are the people behind the project?

Project coordination: Dr Katharina Wirnitzer

is an Austrian sports scientist and a university lecturer in sports science. Many years ago this keen sportswoman was able to turn her hobby into her job and lives what she loves and loves what she does: outdoor and endurance sport.
Her bikeeXtreme research project ( investigated the endurance and stress profile of mountain bikers during the Mountainbike Transalp Challenge, a race staged over eight days. This made her the first scientist in the world to investigate i) a mountain-bike marathon, ii) a mountain-bike stage race, iii) female mountain-bikers in stage races and iv) a purely plant-based diet used by participants in endurance events taking place over several days.
Her book about extreme stress experienced during mountain-bike races staged over several days was published in 2009 (bikeeXtreme – Performance-determining factors and vegan nutrition pattern for the successful completion of the Transalp Challenge).
In 2014 she reached a milestone with the publication of the world's first purely plant-based diet for endurance athletes (after it had been scientifically recommended as the optimum nutrition strategy for the first time in 1982). This case study was the foundation stone: now we have to build on it.
Dr Wirnitzer has designed the NURMI Study as a follow-up to her mountain-bike field study and has set up a second pilot study in order to build on this foundation stone and create a broad basis for well-founded evidence of the link between endurance and diet.

NURMI team:

The crowdfunding project has been successfully completed. Supporting and ordering is no longer available on Startnext.

  • The processing of orders placed will be handled directly by the project owners according to the stated delivery time.

  • The production and delivery is the responsibility of the project owners themselves.

  • Cancellations and returns are subject to the terms and conditions of the respective project owner.

  • Revocations and cancellations via Startnext are no longer possible.

What does this mean? 
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Weltweit 1. Anbieter für veggie Sport-Events, Aktiv-Urlaub und Sport-Ferien.


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Britta Becker

Britta hat keine Mühen gescheut das beste Video der Welt zu drehen. Mit dem üppigen Budget von 0 € ausgestattet hat sie als Profi-Filmerin die NURMI-Study mit viel Action in Szene gesetzt und einen großartigen Film gemacht. Vielen herzlichen Dank an Britta & Stefan für die wunderbare Unterstützung!

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The NURMI-Study – Europe's largest running study
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