Case Study: Kerrie Otto de Grancy

Ranked as the third all time fastest Australian female in 50km distance and with three Australian records to her name, there’s no denying Kerrie Otto de Grancy is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to endurance running. Injury, however, can strike at any time, and an earlier strain recently threatened to overshadow Kerrie’s chances of competing in the 100km World Championships in Qatar.

With just weeks until race day, Kerrie decided to push through the strain with the help of the Bionic Runner, rather than losing valuable time and hindering her race preparation by sitting out and waiting for the strain to heal.

"I dedicated the majority of my training time in the last three weeks before the 100km World Championships to training on the bionic runner," she says. "This enabled me to clock up the kilometres and time on my legs that I needed without impact, allowing my foot to heal."

"Ironically the Bionic runner couldn’t have arrived in my hands at a better time," says Kerrie. "I literally started using the Bionic runner one week after an old sprain caused a series of issues in my foot, preventing me from running. I was petrified and kept this news between my medical supports, my mentor Patrick Farmer, my coach Chris Truscott and I."

Whilst Kerrie was able to keep up her strength work and yoga, running was out of the question, as even walking was proving difficult for her.

"I dedicated the majority of my training time in the last three weeks before the 100km World Championships to training on the bionic runner," she says. "This enabled me to clock up the kilometres and time on my legs that I needed without impact, allowing my foot to heal."

"Psychologically this alone was invaluable, not to mention the maintenance of my fitness and ability to use the same biomechanics as If I was pounding the pavement on foot."

For the us, the creators of the Bionic Runner, Kerrie's story is proof we’ve achieved what we set out to, four years ago, when the concept of the Bionic Runner was conceived.

"In the running community, Kerrie’s story is all too common," says Steve. "The miles you need to put in in the lead up to race day puts such a strain on the body that it’s certainly not uncommon to wind up injured or unfit on the day you need to be performing at your best."

Ultimately, we believed there must be a better way for runners to train – not only for races but everyday – and went on to spend four years developing the Bionic Runner, which we launched on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter at the beginning of this month.

It's also good to know that, for Kerrie, the Bionic Runner came into its own, post-race, too.

"After the 100km event, the same foot wasn’t happy," she says. "I wasn’t able to run on my foot for 19 days after my race. I feel at an advantage that I was able to ease back into running and allow my body to recover properly by alternating between the Bionic runner, road and track running."

The Bionic Runner will remain available on Kickstarter until December 31. And, whilst there’s a clear advantage to be had by the injured runner, Kerrie also points out the other advantage of the Bionic Runner. "It’s fun and breaks up the monotony of pounding the pavement day in and day out," she says.


Lizzy Fowler, Freelance Journalist