Nigeria’s Brigid Kosgei blew away the women’s world record for a marathon last weekend with a 2hr 14min 4 sec time to shave off 81 seconds from the previous record. She was wearing Nike’s ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%, and the top five men’s times all belong to those who wore Vaporflys. Some athletes are saying the shoes provide an unfair advantage, according to The Times.
Former marathon champion Gianni Demadonna told the newspaper: “They think the shoes are maybe allowing elite athletes to run two minutes quicker in the marathon. Understandably they are troubled by what is happening in their sport because the times being run are so fast. Even older runners are taking huge chunks off their best times.”
The $250 shoe features a carbon fiber plate in the midsole to reduce energy loss, as well as super lightweight materials and Nike ZoomX foam with the company’s greatest energy return yet.
It’s possible changes to the rules are coming, as the IAAF told The Times, “Recent advances in technology mean that the concept of ‘assistance’ to athletes… has been the subject of much debate in the athletics world. The IAAF has established a working group to consider the issues.”