RaceRunner Dines proud to be part of new movement after securing European gold in Berlin

Dines crossed the line first in Berlin. Pic: Ben Booth Photography

Hannah Dines has helped make history in Berlin but now the para-athlete is determined to make sure others follow in her footsteps.

The Scot is best known for riding a trike at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games but it’s on a different track where she is now making her mark, at the World Para Athletics European Championships.

Dines competed in the very first RaceRunner event to be held at the event, where athletes use a running bike featuring a three-wheeled frame, saddle and body support, but no pedals.

Competitors race down a 100m athletics track, with the 25-year-old having the honour of being the first European champion in her class in a time of 19.00 seconds.

Now she wants the world to stand up and take note of a sport that is far from in its infancy, desperate to see RaceRunning, for those with significant quadriplegic cerebral palsy, bridge into World Championships and Paralympic Games.

“Having the opportunity to compete on the world stage is incredibly important and I am delighted to be given the opportunity and win gold,” she said, after beating teammate and fellow Scot Kayleigh Haggo, who won silver.

“I think it is the competition, especially being teammates, which gets us breaking world records.

“Also, because it is such tight competition, that’s what the crowd wants, people are constantly changing places on the podium.

“I think I am going to have to train pretty hard to stop Kayleigh grabbing that off me.

“I just look at the line, and I’m like ‘I want you line’ and then it just comes to me somehow with a lot of training. I have got a lovely Glasgow team called Red Star and I have been training with them in the run-up.”

Labelling her three-wheeled race tool as an “anti-faceplant device”, the RaceRunning world is very much Dines’ oyster for as long as she keeps pushing the boundaries.

But she is far from alone in her venture, with Maybole’s Haggo not far behind in second after both comfortably won their heats earlier in the day in Berlin.

With each step that passed the enjoyment grew, their 100m turning into a 400m at full speed as the victory lap gathered pace – basking in a moment the pair never thought they would have.

The men, too, are revelling – Gavin Drysdale following Dines soon after to win the men’s RR3 race a full two seconds ahead of the rest of the field in 17.37 seconds.

Another Brit in Rafi Solaiman came second, the second British one-two of the evening, but Ayr’s Drysdale is not done either.

This, after all, was the day he considered the best of his life – should the sport become a Paralympic event as early as 2024, then this feeling would pale in comparison to the one in six years’ time.

“I felt like I had already won a gold medal just by being here so to win a real one is absolutely incredible,” said Drysdale, who communicates via an iPad.

“It means the absolute world to me to be competing here in Berlin, I still can’t believe we are actually here, I am usually cheering everyone from my TV screen at home and now I am on the other side having just competed.

“RaceRunning is one of the very few sports I can do independently so to be given this opportunity to come and compete at a European Championships and something which I can participate in independently and, more importantly, something I love has just been totally surreal.”

British Athletics works alongside UK Sport and the National Lottery to support the delivery of success at the world’s most significant sporting events, principally the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They do this via the funded initiative, the World Class Programme, one part of the British Athletics pathway.