This inaugural report covers all the big stories and breaking news from 28th December 2020 to the 3rd January 2021.
Starting with ‘shoe news’, because it’s the news that everyone wants to know. First up, it’s the new Nike shoes for 2021 that have just been announced:
– Nike Zoom X Invincible Run – Essentially a Zoom X version of the Infinity Run, it’s got the same silhouette but with a full length Zoom X foam midsole, Nike’s premium foam, which we’re quite excited to try. It’s designed and marketed as a long run shoe and it will be interesting to see how it compares to other ‘flyknit’ shoes released by Nike in 2020.
– Nike Infinity Run 2 – This update to the popular mileage shoe comes with a new colourway and a modified upper to hopefully remove some of the lockdown issues that some people reported in the first version.
– Nike Vomero 16 – Despite the recent release of the Vomero 15, the 16 version has just started production and we will be looking out for a release date sooner rather than later.
– Blue Ribbon Sport Next % – Although not a new shoe, Nike have released a limited edition colourway for the Vaporfly Next% that is bound to sell for 3 to 4 times the price on eBay so, get in whilst you can.
– Nike Vaporfly Next % 2 – An underwhelming announcement by Nike, the Next% 2 comes with an updated upper and a more durable material to the front of the shoe but without any other fundamental changes. As yet there is no release date, but hopefully this will be complemented by a new racing flat in the summer.
Stepping up their competition with Nike this year is Adidas with a range of new shoes recently announced:
– Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2 – Utilising their lightstrike pro foam and with an updated upper on their very successful shoe released in 2020, this shoe looks certain to continue to challenge Nike. It’s also released in a new and more interesting colourway.
– Adidas Adizero X – This very interesting shoe which, for pros, will be used as a training shoe because it’s not a legal stack-height will give extra cushion for the masses and can be used in mass participation road events.
– Adidas Boston 10 – The most beloved shoe of the Adidas range, the Boston and the Boston 10 looks to have an upgraded stack height and includes the lightstrike pro foam for the first time. Is this Adidas’ year? Certainly looks that way.
A part of the running world which doesn’t get much attention, here we bring you the latest news on athletes moving company and swapping teams.
– Ouassim Oumaiz – The Spanish runner has joined NN Running Team after previously running for Nike as a ‘neutral runner’. He’s ran 13:12 over the 5k this year and is only 21 years old!
– Charlotte Purdue – The long-distance British athlete has made a permanent move from Nike to Adidas, possibly due to Nike’s recent decision to reduce their expenditure on athlete sponsorship (more information below), but also it could be due to the real improvement in Adidas shoes this year and as a marathon runner, who can blame her.
– Drew Piazza – Drew has left Oregon Track Club to join New Balance.
– Ryan Hill – Ryan Hill makes it another Nike departure who has left Bowerman Track Club to an as yet unidentified destination.
– Aisha Praught Leer – Aisha has left Under Armour to an as yet unidentified destination.
Many of the movements away from Nike could be due to claims that Nike intends to reduce its expenditure on athletes by up to 50 per cent owing to poor financial results arising from the covid 19 pandemic. In an article in The Times, it is reported that that the majority of the GB athletes sponsored by Nike will have their contracts terminated or cut. Athletes likely to be affected include Katarina Johnson-Thompson. Nike is reported to have underperformed on Wall Street to the tune of $900 million in the quarter to 31st May 2020.
World of Running – General News
On to the other big things that have happened in the world of running over the last week.
– Stewy McSweyn ran an Australian record 3:50 mile in Tasmania this week; casual. Most impressively, he was running alone for the final 800 metres. Absolutely crazy. You can watch the full race video on our YouTube channel, right here.
– International race results – The week also saw some top racing over both 5k and 10k. Jimmy Gressier won the 5k in a time of 13:39 and then doubled up in the 10k to finish third in a time of 28:13. The winner, Mohammed Amdouni, winning in a fast time of 27:42. On the women’s side, Hellen Obiri won the 10k in 30:53 with Genzebe Dibaba winning the 5k in 15:00.
– UK race results – In the UK, there was some indoor 3000m races, where Mark Pearce ran 7:52 to win the men’s race and run the European indoor qualifying standard. For the women, Ciara Megeean, won their race in a time of 8:54.
– BoClassic 2020 – This annual race in a snowy Bolzano, Italy, saw Margaret Kipkemboi win the 10,000m in 30:42 and Oscar Chelimo won the men’s 5000m, breaking away in the final few metres, in a time of 13:17.
– Ultra news – Jim Walmsley has announced on Instagram that he intends to go for the 100km road world record again on 23rd January 2021.
– Joshua Cheptegei has formally announced, unsurprisingly, that he will be going for gold at both the 5000m and 10,000m at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
– Japanese Ekiden Race – The traditional Japanese distance race took place this week which includes 10 stages, at half marathon distance, and each team has 10 runners. The results led to a clear win for the Nike athletes.
Social Media News
On to the latest news from Social Media, with The Athlete Special published a “clout” video, which referred to the social media profile and presence of the top US distance athletes. The results, in reverse order:
5. Drew Hunter
4. Donavan Brazier
3. Nico Young
2. Matthew Centrowitz
1. Craig Engels (as if it could ever be anyone else!)
Allie Ostrander aka TAS’ girlfriend started a YouTube channel. If you like TAS, you’ll love this, so give it a watch.
Morgan MacDonald the Aussie athlete has also started a YouTube channel, he needs no introduction, he’s an amazing runner so go check out his new content.
‘Lets Run Tea’
The message board site had some interesting conversations this week. With one person suggesting that the 800m was the easiest track event (!). We’ve decided to leave their names anonymous to protect their identity…
This led to a further reply saying the 1500/mile is the easiest track event. In our view, the 800m is definitely the hardest track event and the 1500m is certainly up there. You can comment below this article which events you think are the hardest.
New Runner Spotlight
Ending our weekly report this week is the ‘Spotlight’ feature where we aim to raise the profile of a new or lesser-known athlete.
This week we’re putting the spotlight on Keely Hodgkinson, a GB 800m runner.
This year she ran an astonishing 2:01.16, indoors, to set the European U20 record. An incredible talent and one to watch.
That’s it for this week, if you think we’ve missed anything out of the report for this week or you have any suggestions on items you would like to see, comment below this article or send us a DM on Instagram and we’ll include it in the next report.