On Saturday, Asics announced the updated version of the company’s speedy Metaspeed racers: the Sky+ and Edge+. Determined to put the new shoes to the test, Asics has set up a series of time trials in Malaga, Spain, that promise to offer some speedy times. The event has been sanctioned by World Athletics, so any records set will be official.
The races will take place in the heart of the city, along a tree-lined stretch of flat road that will shield athletes from the wind. The 2,340.58 km loop takes the athletes around a large roundabout at one end and through a short loop through the old city at the other. The day begins with a half-marathon, with 16 men and eight women heading off at the same time. Kenya’s Alfred Kipchirchir Mukche and Ethiopia’s Gizealew Abeje Ayana are looking to break 59 minutes, while Belgium’s Koen Naert hopes to get under 61 minutes. For the women, Ethiopia’s Yeshi Kayalu will be aiming for a 65:30 clocking, with Kenya’s Beatrice Jepchirchir Cheserek aiming to hit 66:30 and her countrywoman Caren Jebet Maiyo trying to run under 67:50.
In the 10K, there are 24 men and 12 women heading off in a staggered start–organizers hope to see both the women and the men hit the finish line at the same time. Kenya’s Boniface Kibiwott is hoping to go under 27 minutes, while Patrick Mosin is hoping to hit 27:20. Italy’s Pietro Riva is hoping for a 27:59. For the women, Vicoty Chepngeno is looking to run 29:55, while her countrywoman Sammary Cherotich would like to run 31:00. The Netherlands’ Jill Holterman would like to break 32 minutes.
The final elite event of the day is a 5K (14 men and 8 women–once again, staggered) in which Spain’s Mohamed Katir, Germany’s Richard Ringer and France’s Felix Bour look to challenge the European record (13:18) with goal times between 13:20 and 13:25. Great Britain’s Eilish McColgan highlights the women’s race as she looks to run 14:50, but she’ll be 10 seconds off the pace if Kenyan Naomi Chepngeno hits her goal time of 14:40. Sweden’s Sarah Lathi is looking to sneak under the 15-minute barrier tomorrow. Once the elites are all done, organizers will be hosting another 5K, with 1,000 runners looking to set their own PBs on this fast course.
A year ago, Beth Potter shook up the world running scene when she ran 14:41 for 5K in the new Metaspeed racers–no doubt the company is looking for more of the same if one of these athletes can set a fast time running in the “+” version of the new shoes. Canadian Running is here in Malaga to cover the event–tune in tomorrow for photos and a recap of what promises to be some exciting and fast racing.