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Joy of life with running prosthesis
For Kenneth Heggdal (25), the running prosthesis meant that he could continue to be physically active and play sports

Do you also dream of becoming a "blade-runner"? For Kenneth Heggdal (25), the running prosthesis meant that he could continue to be physically active and play sports after he had to amputate his right leg as a 16-year-old.

Text: Bjørnhild Fjeld Photo: Tore Fjeld
Kenneth has found himself at ease in the athletics club SK Vidar, and has participated in several competitions this season.

- A normal "everyday prosthesis" works just fine in daily life. But if I am going to run or do other sports, it is a great advantage to use a prosthesis with a running foot. It gives a better response to the surface, and makes me get a more natural running movement, says Kenneth, who works daily as an orthopedic engineer at OCH Ortopedi.

Amputated after motorcycle accident

After a motorcycle accident in 2012, he had to learn to walk again with a prosthesis. Pretty soon also came the desire to be able to run again. Kenneth has always enjoyed being physically active, and has played both football and floorball. The orthopedic engineer suggested that he get a running prosthesis.

- It has meant an incredible amount to my quality of life to have the opportunity to run and be in physical activity, he says.

For many, it will be possible to run or jog even with a regular prosthetic foot. But this is a great burden for the amputation stump, and it is the prosthesis that sets the limits for how fast or far you can run. With a specially adapted running prosthesis, you can run as far and as fast as you want - alone or with friends.

With the specially adapted sprint prosthesis, Kenneth can give his best in 100 meters.

Discovered track running

A few months ago, Kenneth also "discovered" that he had another talent, namely running on an athletics track.

- I tried my hand at running for the first time in December 2020, and I quickly got a little "hooked". Now I train six times a week, mostly with a friend who is also amputated, says Kenneth.

The first time he started in a competition, he managed the qualification requirement for the NM in 100 meters. The 200-meter man also holds on to be able to participate in the European Championships, if he so wishes.

- I take one step at a time. Now first it will be NM, then we will see how it develops, says Kenneth.

As a para-athlete, he can compete in the 100 meters and 1500 meters in the NM in athletics. In the European Championships and other international championships, 100 meters and 200 meters are on the competition program in the class for leg amputees.

- When I run sprints, I use a special sprint foot, which gives an incredibly good running feeling. Compared to the other running foot, it's like wearing good shoes instead of rubber boots. But it is not so well suited for longer runs, I quickly get tired of using it, Kenneth explains.

You do not wear shoes on a running prosthesis - it is fully equipped with spikes.

Available as an activity aid

It is not only those who will run in competitions who can benefit and enjoy a running prosthesis. Kenneth will encourage more people to apply for this as an activity aid.
This is a scheme for people with disabilities to be able to participate in physical activity. If you are older than 26 years, you must pay a deductible of 10 percent of the purchase price for the aid in question, or a maximum of NOK 4,000. For those who are younger, there is no deductible for activity aids.