Kenya Marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge has unveiled the expensive shoes he will use for Sunday’s London Marathon in the British capital.
The sports shoes are approximately Ksh28,000 but since they have been customized they can even go higher.
Kipchoge, the world marathon record holder will be cladding a Kenya flag-inspired Nike “Alpha fly N% Kenya”, custom made for him for the race.
“The shoes for Sunday’s competition. Inspired by colors of the Kenyan flag, representing (the) great people of this beautiful country and to celebrate the first anniversary of the achievement 1:59:40 in marathon distance by EK,” Kipchoge posted in his official Facebook page.
The shoe is just like the one he used during the Ineoa 1:59 Challenge in Viena last year.
The details of the shoes include a green-and-red colorway – a nod to the national flag of Kenya. The shoes, Alpha fly N% also feature Kipchoge’s initials and 1:59:40 – the time he ran in Vienna.
This coming Sunday, Kipchoge will compete with Ethiopia’s marathon icon Kenenisa Bekele, who is also the second-fastest man in the marathon.
Then Bekele would come close to breaking Kipchoge’s world marathon record of 2:01:39 set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018 by two seconds when he won in Berlin in 2:01:41 last year.
Critics had previously complained about the shoes after the 1:59 Challenge in Vienna claiming that the has multiple carbon plates and there were calls for it to be banned from the competition.
However, the marathoner and Nike insist that winning a race is not about the shoes but the person using them.
“The shoes have not been banned hence I am looking forward to another great show on them as I seek my fourth victory on the course,” said Kipchoge during the launch of domestic tourism at the Serena Mara in the Maasai Mara, Narok County in August.
Defending women’s London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei also used similar shoes when she set the women’s world marathons record after winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04.
Nike’s Vaporfly range was the topic of discussion with many feeling that it gave undue advantage to the users owing to its sole technology.
But the global athletic governing body, World Athletics, declined to ban the shoe but would instead come up with tighter regulations around the high-tech running shoes.
World Athletics ruled that any new shoe technology developed after April 30 this year must be available in the open market for four months before an athlete can use them in competition.
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The governing body also introduced an immediate indefinite ban on any shoes that have a sole thicker than 40 millimeters.
Alpha fly N%, the shoes Kipchoge will be using will therefore remain unchanged with full-length carbon plates, Zoom X cushioning, and the two Nike Zoom Air Pods at the forefoot for responsive cushioning and propulsion.