2011 – Patrick Makau Musyoki

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25-Sep-2011 – Berlin Marathon – 2:03:38 – Adidas AdiZero Adios 2
Date of birth: 2-Mar-1985
Nationality: Kenyan
World Record Duration: 2 years, 4 days

The athlete:                
Patrick Makau Musyoki started the 2011 Berlin Marathon having won multiple half-marathons across the world, and after debuting at the distance in 2009 had won both the Rotterdam Marathon and the Berlin Marathon in 2010. Nonetheless, he did not rate his chances of repeating his victory, his body not feeling its best the morning of the event. It was to be a matchup between the younger Makau and the more experienced Haile Gebrselassie. When Gebrselassie started having breathing difficulties at the 27th kilometre, so Makau took charge. As noted in his entries, Gebrselassie has exercise-induced asthma, but that day he decided not to take his medication as he hadn’t had any recent issues.

Makau and Gebrselassie were part of the frontrunners until halfway, when Makau accelerated away. He also employed the tactic of zigzagging across the track in an attempt to tire out his competition. Gebrselassie tried to keep behind him and in his draft, but nearly collapsed from the effort, re-joining the race later but unable to finish. Makau was imperious for the remainder of the race, keeping a two-and-a-half minute lead on the field as he made his way past the final stretch. 

As it was, Makau won and in the process set the new marathon world record. Injuries would unfortunately start affecting Makau, who failed to make the Kenyan team for the 2012 Olympics after pulling out halfway through the 2012 London Marathon. On his retirement in 2018, Makau would say his biggest regret was missing the chance to compete at the Olympics. He also regretted not emphasising physio work as part of his training regime. He still took the time out to thank Adidas specifically for giving him, in his words, the best shoes ever made.

The shoes:                   

Adidas made no secret of the shoes Makau wore, highlighting that they were the sequel to those worn by Haile Gebrselassie when he broke the marathon world record back in 2008. The Adidas AdiZero Adios 2 had several changes to further improve on the formula. The midsole compound was re-engineered to be more responsive. Synthetic suede overlays were added to improve support.

Beneath that, the new Continental rubber outsole increased traction by over 20%. The Torsion System was also improved, now using a three-tier setup that simultaneously improved stability and forefoot propulsion. There was also the newly introduced Quickstrike system on the outsole, where Adidas glued small pieces of rubber to TPU platforms and then affixed this to a fabric base. Despite all these improvements, the AdiZero Adios 2 weight the same 210 grams as its predecessor.

There hasn’t been a retro of these yet, but given how recently they were released there should still be pairs in good condition out there.