Finalist 2020: WISP RacerRunner
The son’s functional diversity gave birth to the idea of the first Swedish racerunner. A model with new technology and a design that makes the user feel like a professional and proud athlete. Like Usain Bolt.
When Pernilla and Sven Hanssen’s son Wiktor was born twenty years ago, he suffered from a lack of oxygen which resulted in Cerebral Palsy. At the age of ten, he got a racerunner, a three-wheeled bicycle without pedals used in the parasport of racing. Wiktor loved running with it and as he grew, the father had to re-weld the racerunner so that it would not be too small.
– But in the end Wiktor was too big for it and he didn’t like the other models on the market, so we decided to build our own. The first Swedish racerunner, says Pernilla Hanssen.
The parents, who are both engineers, started the company RaceRunning Sweden. And under the name WISP – based on the first letter of all the family members’ names: Wiktor, brother Isak, Sven and Pernilla – they started a development journey with the user in focus.
Wanted to make the user proud
Together with Reload Design, it became a creative development project where engineering met design, that was shaped into prototypes and then tested by Wiktor. The goal has been to create a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing racerunner, which should make the user proud.
– Wiktor is proud and feels like Usain Bolt when he runs with it. Many people who are limited by impaired function in balance and mobility do not get the chance to experience the feeling of freedom that the speed of a racerunner gives. We want to change that, says Félix Ferrer, CEO of Reload Design.
“Many people who are limited by reduced function in balance and mobility do not get the chance to experience the feeling of freedom that the speed of a racerunner gives. We want to change that.”
Félix Ferrer, CEO at Reload Design
Racerunner creates jobs
At WISP RaceRunner, Wiktor has won several prizes in competitions and many in the sport have become curious about the Swedish model’s design and speed.
– Our hope for the future is that we will be able to continue to run the company and live on racerunners. That we can have a good company for Wiktor to work at, and also for other disabled people, says Pernilla Hanssen.
“Our hope for the future is that we will be able to continue to run the company and live on racerunners. That we can have a good company for Wiktor to work at, and also for other disabled people.”
Pernilla Hanssen, RaceRunning Sweden
She says that many people in society can enjoy being a racerunner, such as someone who has suffered a brain injury, or older people who have run before but are limited by, for example, impaired balance. The dream is to spread racing throughout the world, in many different groups.
– With a racerunner, you can continue running even if you have problems with your knees or hips. I, who usually don’t like running, think it’s fun because it goes so fast. There is a large market and so far we have only touched a small part of it.
Finalist Grand Award of Design 2020: WISP RaceRunner
Producing company: RaceRunning Sweden.
Design: Reload Design.
Motivation: Born out of a family need, the WISP RaceRunner is tailored to give people with functional diversity the opportunity to perform active sports. With finely honed functionality and attractive and inclusive design, it attracts – as well as draws attention to and instills pride in – a life-enhancing and innovative parasport.