• The 34 year marathoner in a class of his own in global distance running has slammed claims and said his ‘golden legs’ were the formula behind his success.
  • On October 12th 2019 in Vienna, Kichoge, became the first human to run under two hours while wearing Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly shoes.
  • Kipchoge stated the Nike's record breaking shoes are “fair” and the sport should embrace such technological advances.

The greatest Marathoner ever, Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge, is not impressed with his critics so much that he has now broken his silence and move to silence them.

Kichoge, who on October 12th 2019 in Vienna, Austria became the first human to run under two hours, has slammed critics and laughed off their claims that Nike’s record breaking Zoom Vaporfly shoes did the trick in him shattering the two-hour barrier.

Eliud Kipchoge's Nike Zoom Vaporflys. (manymiles)
Eliud Kipchoge's Nike Zoom Vaporflys. (manymiles)

The 34 year marathoner in a class of his own in global distance running and already won nine of the 10 marathons he has entered laughed off claims and said his ‘golden legs’ were the formula behind his success.

"It's the person who is running, and not the shoes," said Kipchoge, whose formula for winning is Motivation + Discipline = Consistency. He was speaking at his Global Sports Communication/NN Running team training camp in Kaptagat.

Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge,  on his way to win the INEOS 1:59 Challenge to become the first human to run under two hours.
Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge, on his way to win the INEOS 1:59 Challenge to become the first human to run under two hours.

The youngest of four children who grew up in Kapsisiywa, a small village in Nandi County and stands at 5-feet-6 and weighs 57 kg, added that claiming that the ‘hot’ Nike Zoom Vaporfly shoes he wore in Vienna gave him undue advantage is akin to saying Lewis Hamilton, the most successful British driver in Formula 1 and the second most successful driver of all time, is a rookie who rides on Pirelli tyres to win.

"It is (Lewis) Hamilton who does the driving and not Pirelli tyres," he added, drawing parallels with Formula One racing.

“In Formula 1, Pirelli issues the tyres to all the cars but Mercedes are the best one. Why? It’s the engine. It’s the person.

“So for those that are against the shoe, it’s the person who is running, not the shoe. It’s the person driving, not the person making the tyres.” He told the telegraph in an exclusive interview.

The greatest Marathoner ever, Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge (L) pose a photo with Lewis Hamilton (R) the second most successful driver of all time. (twitter.com/EliudKipchoge)
The greatest Marathoner ever, Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge (L) pose a photo with Lewis Hamilton (R) the second most successful driver of all time. (twitter.com/EliudKipchoge)

Kipchoge went on and said Nike's record breaking shoes are “fair” and the sport should embrace such technological advances.

“They are fair,” he said. “I trained hard. Technology is growing and we can’t deny it - we must go with technology.

Kipchoge’s long-time coach Patrick Sang who is an Olympic medal-winning athlete himself having won three silver medals in the 3000m steeplechase at global championships: the 1991 and 1993 World Championships and the 1992 Olympics,came to his defense and told Telegraph Sport the shoes do make a difference, but they should not be banned as they are available to all runners.

“To me, a shoe is a small thing,” he said. “It has an advantage. Even if you talk to Eliud, he says these Nike shoes help in recovery. When they train hard, their recovery is more efficient in terms of time it takes.

“But everyone can access these shoes. If it was a situation where we are comparing generations then I would understand. But we are talking about the current generation where the same shoes are being worn by all Nike-sponsored athletes.”

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Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Almost half the leading 150 marathon times in history have occurred since the first edition of the Vaporfly - the 4% - arrived in 2016.

The shoes have also significantly impacted amateur running, with a recent study in The New York Times finding that more than 40% of marathons completed in less than three hours last year were done so by runners wearing either the Vaporfly 4% or Next%.

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei was wearing the same shoes when she broke Paula Radcliffe’s women's marathon record last year after clocking 2:14:04 at the Chicago Marathon.

Brigid Kosgei crossing the finishing line of Chicago Marathon. (The New York Times)
Brigid Kosgei crossing the finishing line of Chicago Marathon. (The New York Times)

The shoes are believed to make its wearers four per cent more efficient. They come with super-thick soles that incorporate carbon-fibre plates that act like springs, while remaining incredibly lightweight – a pair of UK size 9 comes in at 190g.

The Nike’s record breaking shoes have since generated heated debate so much that the World Athletics has assembled a panel of experts to review the shoes.

The governing body says it wants to find a balance between “encouraging the development and use of new technologies, and the preservation of the fundamental characteristics of the sport: accessibility, universality and fairness.”