Help research into whether your genes help you be a top sprinter or endurance athlete

The ‘Genetics of Elite Status in Sport’ (GENESIS) Project at Manchester Metropolitan University aims to identify genetic characteristics associated with physical performance, health and injury in elite UK athletes.

The project continues until April 2018 and they are looking for more high-level endurance runners to complete a short questionnaire, provide a DNA sample, and undergo a full body (DEXA) scan** to obtain bone density information. You are eligible if you can or have ever run close to one or more of the following times:

  • 3000m: 8.40 mins (men), 10.10 mins (women)
  • 5000m/5k Road: 15.15 mins (men), 17.40 mins (women)
  • 10000m/10k Road: 32.00 mins (men), 37.00 mins (women)
  • Half-marathon: 1h 12 mins (men), 1h 25 mins (women)
  • Marathon : 2h 40 mins (men), 3h 10 mins (women)

Non-endurance runners who may want to be involved in the study as part of the control group are also welcome to apply for testing.

The project is investigating the genetic influence on bone mineral density (BMD) and stress fracture incidence within high level runners to determine if they possess optimal genetic variants for enhanced BMD and reduced stress fracture risk.

Alongside the body composition information, the researchers can also provide feedback about one particular gene which controls production of a which is only found in fast-twitch muscle fibres; not having the protein has been linked to endurance athlete status.

The tests take 60 to 90 minutes at the Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire Campus in Crewe.

**The DEXA scan is a simple test, widely accepted as the gold-standard method to analyse body composition, and provides information on bone mineral density, fat mass and muscle mass to the nearest 0.1g. Click here for examples of scan results.