Just exactly how fast can a runner take to complete a marathon? Olympic runner Eliud Kipchoge answered this by achieving something never before seen in 2019. It takes runners averagely about 4 hours and 32 minutes to complete a marathon according to The State of Running 2019 report, but Kipchoge broke a new record by completing a marathon in under two hours. While this record occurred in a controlled condition with several pacers and removal of external factors that may slow him down, this feat was still an impressive achievement that deserves its spot in athletic history.
However, this is not the first attempt Kipchoge has made, and credit must also be given to the sneakers that helped him achieve the record this time. Kipchoge wore a pair of Nike’s high tech Vaporfly sneakers, which has been estimated to help athletes increase up to 4% in their efficiency while running. The number may not sound very impressive on its own, but to a runner, even this little increase can help shave precious minutes or seconds from race times. Indeed, in recent history, the top five fastest men’s marathons were all ran by athletes wearing Vaporfly shoes. Furthermore, the vast majority of the top three runners in all the significant marathons in 2019 wore the Vaporfly sneakers.
These high tech sneakers have proven to be beneficial in helping athletes go faster, but some believe this gives the athletes who are wearing Vaporfly an unfair advantage. The jury is still out on the use of these sneakers, and a consensus is yet to be achieved by marathon officials. Amid this controversy, runners will continue running with the Vaporfly sneakers, and the world can expect to witness more new running records.