NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 30 – Marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge has once again deflected the attention from the issue surrounding his running shoes, instead asking the world to embrace technology and move with the times.
The issue around Kipchoge’s Nike shoes began gathering momentum after the Ineos 1:59 challenge in Vienna, Austria last year where the reigning Olympic champion became the first man to ever run the marathon in under two hours.
Speaking at the London Marathon pre-race press conference on Wednesday evening, Kipchoge once again stated that the attention should never be on the shoes.
“We are now doing a press conference virtually. Is that not technology? We need to accept technology in our hearts and move on. We want development in the world and we should accept and marry technology,” Kipchoge stated.
He added; “We live in the 21st century whereby first we need to accept change. Secondly development goes hand in hand with technology. The shoe is good and an accepted technology pattern.”
Kipchoge will race in Sunday’s London Marathon in custom made Nike “Alpha fly N% Kenya” shoes, specially designed with a wrapping of the Kenyan flag.
The shoes will bear his initials in the inner sole as well as the 1:59:40 timing he clocked in the Ineos 1:59 challenge in Vienna last year.
“Nike is a running company, Kenya is a running nation, I am a running person and that’s how heavy the message is on the shoe,” Kipchoge said of his specially made footwear.
Meanwhile, his biggest competitor of the day, Kenenisa Bekele, the man who came two seconds close to breaking his world record in Berlin last year will retain the Nike Vapor Fly shoe in the race.
“I will wear the Vapor Fly not Alpha Fly because I have some problem with it. I need more time to adapt. At the moment I will use the old one. It’s quite the same but there’s some difference,” Bekele said.
The two will line up against each other in a bio-secure running loop at the St. James’ Park in London on Sunday morning, in what has been billed as the race of the century featuring the world’s two fastest marathoners.