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New shoe regulations blamed for athlete’s withdrawal

Image © Bjarteh

The first European to run a marathon in less than two hours and six minutes – Norway’s Sondre Nordstad Moen – cited the World Athletics (WA) rule change for track shoes as his reason for withdrawing from the ‘one hour’ race at the Wanda Diamond League exhibition meeting in Brussels.

As reported in the September issue of SATRA Bulletin, the WA reviewed competition shoes and announced that the maximum permissible sole height for all track shoes would be reduced from 40mm to 25mm.

However, according to Moen – seen as one of the main contenders in the Brussels event – this change forced him to pull out because of pain he experiences when running in shoes which meet the new regulation.

The athlete stressed that he was ‘fit and well, in great shape and really looking forward to running in the London Marathon’, but added that he was not sure about being so if he had raced in Brussels, as he would have had to run on the track ‘for something like a half marathon – and hopefully a bit further’ – in shoes which only had 25mm of cushioning.

Moen achieved a European record of 1 hour 12 minutes 46.5 seconds for the 25,000m race during the Oslo Diamond League ‘Impossible Games’ exhibition meeting in June, while wearing shoes with 40mm of cushioning.

“To be honest, I’ve decided I just can’t do that as I feel pain in my feet after only a few kilometres in such shoes,” he commented. “I’ve been experimenting with both spikes and racing flats that conform to the new World Athletics regulations that were introduced at the end of July, but they just don’t work for me. In simple terms, I need more support and cushioning if I’m to race more than a few kilometres on the track as I have had a history of foot injuries.”

The photograph above shows Moen (leading the pack), who achieved a 25,000m European record in June while wearing track shoes with the now-banned 40mm of cushioning.

Publishing Data

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

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