Kipchoge defends his Nike shoe for London Marathon


Kipchoge defends his Nike shoe for London Marathon
A screen-grab depicting a closer look at Eliud Kipchoge's shoes after the marathon world record holder, celebrates after a successful attempt to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria, October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

In Summary

  • World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has defended the Nike Alphafly Next% shoes which he will wear on Sunday during the 40th edition of the London Marathon on Sunday
  • The Alphafly is the latest development in a series of shoes designed by giant sportswear company Nike for distance races and is made of two zoom air pods, zoomX foam, and a carbon fiber plate

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has defended the Nike Alphafly Next% shoes which he will wear on Sunday during the 40th edition of the London Marathon on Sunday.

The Alphafly is the latest development in a series of shoes designed by giant sportswear company Nike for distance races and is made of two zoom air pods, zoomX foam, and a carbon fiber plate which provide a cushioning platform thus making it a faster racing shoe.

Kipchoge’s shoe has been customised in Kenyan colours and also include the initials of his name (EK) and 1:59:40, the mark he clocked during the historic INEOS challenge in Vienna where he became the first human being to complete a marathon in under two-hours.

While the technology of shoes has become a routine in the modern era it has equally elicited mixed reactions which led to World Athletics imposing restrictions on shoe manufacturers.

Similarly, it has been viewed as a competition pitting sportswear companies who are eager to embrace and with the fast-paced technology.

While appearing in a virtual pre-race conference, Kipchoge took a swipe on the critics of the shoe by urging them to embrace technology.

“This is the 21st century and we need to accept change. Development goes hand-in-hand with technology. We need to accept it and marry it,” he said.

On the other hand, Kipchoge’s rival Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia has revealed that he will be wearing Vaporfly Next%- the same shoe he wore when he won the 2019 Berlin Marathon in 2:01:41 just two seconds shy of the world record.

The build up to the delayed race has centered on the pair who are the two fastest marathoners with sub 2:02 and even more interesting the duo have competed against each other for close to two decades.

The Sunday’s race will be an elite-only with close to 45,000 set to participate in virtual race following the cancellation of mass race due to coronavirus.

Similarly, unlike in the previous editions where the race is usually held in the largely flat course around River Thames, this year’s event will take place on an enclosed looped course in St James’s Park which will consist of 19.6 laps of length 2.15km.

“I think running laps like this will be OK. We will compete in a good way and get the best result on Sunday. We will be able to access more drinks than normal so that will help.

But I don’t think the focus will change from normal, we are all doing the same laps with the same pacemakers” said Kipchoge.

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Story By Gilbert Kiprotich
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