Frame Runners: More Ways to Move
Kevin using frame runner at T-Ball
Frame runners, which allow for greater freedom of movement for those with mobility issues, is gaining popularity in the U.S. The Utah Assistive Technology Program and TOP Sports. a league for youth and young adults with disabilities, have loaned frame runners to youth in Cache Valley for the past few months. They hope to show options for people seeking additional forms of recreation.
One user, Kevin, was able to use a frame runner while playing TOP Sports T-Ball.
Kevin has played in TOP Sports since he was three. In past years, he would often use use his walker to support himself while waiting for the other kids to play. In summer of 2023, he borrowed a frame runner and it streamlined his play, giving him speed and support.
“It helped me not have to put so much weight on my legs so I could run for more time and not get so tired,” said Kevin in an interview.
Jacque, Kevin’s mom, saw how the frame runner helped him in ways besides running: “When the pitcher was pitching to Kevin,
he could bat and swing over the handlebars, and he could hit the ball straight over it.” This allowed Kevin to be quicker with his movements throughout the game.
The frame runner is an adaptive mobility device that comes with a seat and chest plate so users can run with support. It holds tension in the front wheel, so it will ride fairly straight unless the user makes adjustments with the handlebars. This allowed Kevin to focus on running and making it to home.
The frame runners come in 4 sizes ranging from small to extra large, and the seats, chest plates, handlebars, and seat posts are all adjustable, making it comfortable for a variety of runners.
According to the RAD RaceRunner Company’s website, the frame runner is "frequently used by children and adults with cerebral palsy (CP), Parkinson's, stroke, spinal cord injuries (SCI), muscular dystrophy, or general mobility challenges to propel themselves on their own and engage their major muscle groups." The runner was created in the 90's by Danish para-athlete Mansoor Siddiqi, and only recently has it become widespread in the U.S. The UATP wants to continue that growth.
"I'm hoping that right now, that what we can find is the individuals that have a difficulty in being able to move as freely as they want to move," said Tressa Johnston from the UATP. "They'll be able to use the frame runner to have more enjoyment to participate in recreation or family activities or other activities that they love and bring them joy."
The UATP currently has a small frame runner and a medium on loan, and is looking to buy a large frame runner. They hope to continue lending them out to make sports and recreation more inclusive.
If you are interested in trying out a frame runner, contact the Logan UATP at 435-797-0699 or TOP Sports by emailing email@example.com.
Images (top to bottom): Kevin using a frame runner at T-Ball, Toni trying a frame runner on indoor track, Adi using frame runner at T-Ball.