Does a Running Blade/Prosthetic give you an advantage
I have been an amputee for 18 years and I’ve been a runner for 4 years and have been running ultra/trails for 2 years. I never thought that running with a blade would cause so much controversy has it has done over the years. I never thought of myself as having an advantage when it comes to running. I was stopped by a couple while out on my run and this man just points to my prosthetic and says “I’ve read that you are not allowed to compete with that thing, because it gives you an advantage”. I was in shock and didn’t know what to say.
My thought on this subject:
I am missing a leg and the only thing that the prosthetic has given me is the ability to run. Without it I wouldn’t be able to run.
It has given me the ability to run with my children, something that I couldn’t do before because my walking prosthetic was too heavy.
A running blade is expensive, the one I run with costs $20 000 and they don’t last long because your stump changes so you need a new socket every two years. With the amount of running I do I need a new socket every year.
Then you have all the issues that come with running with a blade. I am in pain for the first mile of any run because my stump needs to adjust to my running prosthetic. Skin breakdown can be a pain. Blisters on your stump from friction caused by the liner, ingrown hairs again caused by friction from your liner. Sweating is a major issue and cause your leg to slide off during a run.
Technology has definitely improved over the years but I still have one regular leg, so my running prosthetic needs to match my good leg.
6. Amputee’s are more prone to injury and I’m at my PT every two weeks to make sure I am staying injury free.
7. My stump is all bone, so my bones bruise running and my knee bone will shift out which is extremely painful.
8. When I am running 100 miles, I am having to stop a lot more than a regular athlete to change socks on my stump.
9. Valve’s break, liners tear and all this add up to the cost of running with a prosthetic.
It takes a lot of courage for an amputee to stand at the start line of any race. We are stared at, pointed at and talked about all the time and then on top of that people question whether we should be aloud to compete. I am grateful for my running prosthetic because without it I wouldn’t have discovered the joy of running.