2014 – Dennis Kimetto

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28-Sep-2014 – Berlin Marathon – 2:02:57 – Adidas AdiZero Adios Boost 2
Date of birth: 22-Jan-1984
Nationality: Kenyan
World Record Duration: 3 years, 11 months, 19 days

The athlete:                
Dennis Kimetto was confident coming into the 2014 Berlin Marathon. He had said before that if conditions allowed him, there was every chance he could set the new world record. It had been a remarkable start for Kimetto, who in 2010 was still making his living as a farmer in his native Kenya.

It was during that year that he was invited to a training camp by Geoffrey Mutai, who had set the course record at the Boston Marathon and the unofficial world record. More about that here. As for Kimetto, he soon started making his presence felt, setting the world record for the 25 kilometre distance in 2012. Kimetto would make his marathon debut at the 2012 Berlin Marathon, finishing second with a time of 2:04:16, the fastest marathon debut in history at the time. Wins and course records at the 2013 Tokyo Marathon and Chicago Marathons further established his credentials.

As for the 2014 Berlin Marathon, the first half of the race looked fast, but not necessarily enough to set a new benchmark. It was around 30 kilometres in that Kimetto started pursuing the leader at the time, Emmanuel Mutai. They left the field behind, with Kimetto showing his composure as the two reached the 38 kilometre mark.

Kimetto accelerated away, guaranteeing that when he crossed the line he was the first man in history to break 2:03. Mutai still finished in 2:03:13, which would have otherwise been the new world record itself. Kimetto still had enough energy to drape himself in the Kenyan flag and walk along the home straight to salute the cheering crowd.

Unfortunately it seems that injury woes have prevented Kimetto from building on his achievements in later years. As discussed below however, he may well be the last marathon world record holder to have achieved the feat wearing shoes without carbon-fibre plates.

The shoes:                   

Adidas knew that it had created a winning formula with the AdiZero Adios Boost when Wilson Kipsang set a new marathon world record the year before. Accordingly, the AdiZero Adios Boost 2 kept the exact same midsole and outsole as its predecessor.

This meant the layer of technologically advanced Boost cushioning was supported by a 3-tier Torsion System and Continental rubber for grip. The Quickstrike system of small pieces of rubber on small TPU platforms to provide that extra traction.

The upper however saw some revisions, with a more breathable mesh upper with suede overlays similar to the AdiZero Adios 2 from several years earlier. What it meant was the slightest weight penalty, the shoe weighing 227 grams compared with 220 for the original AdiZero Adios Boost.

Adidas would later try to push the envelope even further with the Adidas AdiZero Sub2, which you can read more about here, including the earlier dalliances Adidas had with carbon-fibre plate technology.