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Research at the Top of the World

David Berkoff

Dr. David Berkoff, Co-Director of the Sports Medicine Institute, Philip Clark, Associate Chair of Administration for the Department of Orthopaedics, and a team of local community athletes will be traveling to Mount Everest, Nepal, in November 2022 to participate in an extreme event and lead research on the effects of altitude on cognitive and sports performance.


The research will focus on developing training standards for altitude sports to understand better how altitude affects athletic performance. This type of research is critical in understanding how future athletes might train for high-altitude events and will be used to help develop standards for training and safety.

In affiliation with the University of Bournemouth (U.K.), the UNC Sports Medicine Institute, a team of researchers will join adventure athletes from across the world on a two-week adventure in Nepal to conduct research in-situ in the Himalayas.

The Event

A team of adventurers from around the world will be taking on a Guinness World Record attempt to complete the World’s Highest Obstacle Course Race at Everest Base Camp. After a 12-day acclimatization hike to base camp, the team will climb to Kala Pattar (18,546 ft) to complete the high-altitude obstacle course event, followed by a marathon distance trail run to the town of Namche Bazaar. Learn more about this event


World’s Highest OCR

University of Bournemouth

Get Involved

Follow the adventure, training plans, and research progress on the SMI social media accounts:

If you represent a company, foundation, or individual and are interested in learning more about how you can get involved with this event or partnering with the Sports Medicine Institute. Please contact: