If the International Federation does not change its regulations, the half-marathon on March 1 and the Paris Marathon on April 5 will see runners running in shoes with carbon plates. A model, notably that of Nike, prized by amateurs and pros, like Kipchoge, who had run the marathon in less than 2 hours. And the records will fall. Edouard Cassignol, director of general public tests at ASO, the organizer of these tests, gives his view on the question.
What is your position: ban or allow these models of shoes?
EDWARD CASSIGNOL. We do not ask ourselves the question. We follow the rules of the International Federation. We know that there are studies underway to assess precisely the contribution of these shoes. We will implement the decisions.
Have you ever been faced with this kind of situation?
There was a precedent with headphones. It was decided that music in the ears could be a help for runners so the wearing of headsets or helmets was prohibited in competition by the International Federation in 2016.
Can we control all the participants during an event like the Paris Marathon?
As easy as it is to verify whether the elite runners, who are between forty and fifty, wear this kind of shoes or not, it will indeed be very complicated to control the 50,000 participants of the Paris Marathon.
Do you think these shoes are revolutionary?
Let us wait to see the conclusions of the International Federation. The latest results seem to show that there is an effect but what is it? And for a runner who is worth 3 hours in the marathon, will it be 2 h 55 min or 2 h 59 min? We really do not know. Also, these shoes may not be suitable for the general public. To make a profit, you have to run on the forefoot, it puts a lot of strain on your calves, and there aren’t many runners capable of that.