Successful and competitive RaceRunning competition at the IWAS World Games
IWAS Presss Reporter explains a little more about the sport
One of the most successful and competitive sports at the recent IWAS World Games in Stadskannal was the athletics sport of RaceRunning. Well what exactly is it, who are the best nations and should it become a fully fledged sport at a future Paralympic Games?
I spoke with Peter Drysdale from RaceRunning Scotland and Mansoor Siddiqi Head Coach of the Danish RaceRunning team and they outlined the sport to me.
What is RaceRunning?
RaceRunning is an international disability sport in which children and adults compete with running bikes on an athletics track. Events range from 40m to 5000m. Current IWAS events are 100m, 200m, 400m & 800m. Competitors are classified based on their disability and race against other competitors in their class. There are 4 categories RR1 through RR4.
RaceRunning commenced as an international sport in 1990 and is regulated by CPISRA (Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association) and has a considerable presence in Denmark, Scotland, Portugal, Brazil and Sweden with a growing presence in approximately 9 other countries. It was included as an event for the first time at the IWAS Senior Games in 2011 and European Paralympic Youth Games in 2012.
What is a Running Bike and who can use it?
A Running Bike is a three wheeled bike with no pedals which supports you as you walk or run. Running Bikes are used by people of all ages for recreation and sport at a variety of levels. A Running Bike is a very effective way of improving overall fitness, strength and well-being. Despite considerable physical challenges, most users are able to use the Running Bike to propel themselves considerably faster than they can unassisted.
It is predominantly suitable for those with Cerebral Palsy, although it is also suitable for those with Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinsons Disease and other disabilities that affect mobility and balance.
Paralympic Aspiration and Why Encourage RaceRunning
– RaceRunning has the goal to become a Paralympic Sport.
– Current Paralympic sports offer little opportunity for the disability groups suitable for RaceRunning. – Paralympic sports are in the mainly suitable for those with upper body strength and co-ordination.
– There are currently no Paralympic athletics track events suitable for RaceRunning type athletes.
– For example, Gavin Drysdale IWAS RaceRunning World Champion in all IWAS men events, is not able to compete in any current paralympic sport, except maybe Boccia. Yet no-one who has seen Gavin compete in RaceRunning would doubt his athletic capability, dedication and love of sport competition.
- Take up of the sport in countries like Scotland and Denmark show both the need to fill a gap in sporting opportunity and the potential of the sport. There is a view that RaceRunning could be readily incorporated as an IPC event using the existing regulations for the former athletics paralympic event of Wheelchair Foot pushers. In which case running bikes would be used instead of wheelchairs.
Scotland had a very successful IWAS World Games with a host of WR’s and gold medals for their three athletes. Denmark’s talented young athlete, Nikolaj Overgaard Christensen, beat his own world record at the IWAS Games on 100 m RaceRunning with a new record of 28.25. "His goal prior to the IWAS World Games was to get below 30 sec. so Nikolaj is very pleased with his performance and we are extremely proud of him" said Siddiqi.
Tony Garrett IWAS Reporter