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Fast technology

British three-time winner of both the London and the New York marathons, Paula Radcliffe, held the record for the fastest female marathon runner of all time for 16 years before Kenya's Brigid Kosgei beat her time last year at the Chicago Marathon. The record-setting performance sparked debate over the Nike Vaporfly footwear Kosgei was wearing during the race designed to provide efficiency gains. World Athletics subsequently ruled that the running shoes and records broken using them are legal, however, the international governing body has introduced an “indefinite moratorium” on any new shoe that has a sole thicker than 40mm and more than one rigid embedded plate or blade. A panel of experts recommended that further research was required to establish “the true impact of this technology” and to assess any new shoes that enter the market in the future. Radcliffe is reported to have commented on how modern foams save energy in a runner’s legs, which when you’ve run 20 miles is quite an advantage.

The photograph above shows Radcliffe running the New York Marathon.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 2 of the March 2020 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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