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Ein Sinnbild für Evolution und Potential im Laufsport?

A symbol of evolution and potential in running?

Adidas' "Adizero: Road to Records" event recorded 12 new records, including a world record in the 1-mile run, in its fourth edition, underlining the potential of such events to promote the sport of running.

Words: Sven Rudolph
Photos: Nina Ludwig and Marta Robles

In recent years, a new type of running event has emerged, with running brands holding so-called "time trials". These events combine groundbreaking new products and optimal competition conditions to help athletes beat their personal bests (PBs). One of these events is the "Adizero: Road to Records". This year was the fourth edition of the event, and we were invited by Adidas to experience the spectacle live on site.

On Saturday 27 April, the fourth edition of the event continued the record-breaking legacy: 12 records were set. Among these was the world record in the 1-mile run, set by Emmanuel Wanyonyi with a time of 3:54.56. The 19-year-old improved the previous world record of 3:56.13, set by Hobbs Kessler at the World Road Running Championships in Riga last October. Amanal Petros also took part, running the 10 km in 27:42 minutes.

"Adizero: Road to Records" has become one of the most important gatherings for Adidas-sponsored athletes. The event was launched in 2021 to continue the record-breaking legacy of the Adizero footwear series, which began with the great Haile Gebrselassie, who, wearing the Adizero Adios 1, became the first person to run a marathon in 2:03 hours.

“It's super exciting to see the athletes flying through here. The atmosphere is incredible!”

- Kim (spectator)

At this edition, runners wore a special edition Adidas Takumi San 10, inspired by the shoes Agnes Tirop wore when she set her world record of 30:01 minutes at the first edition in 2021. Tragically, she died a month later as a result of domestic violence. The event also aimed to raise awareness of Tirop's Angels - an organization founded by Kenyan athletes and the family of the late Agnes Jebet Tirop to work together to fight gender-based violence.

A total of 99 Adidas professionals from 22 countries took part. In addition to the classic distances of 5 and 10 km, the half marathon distance of 800 m and one mile was replaced this year. One reason for this could be the compactness of the program. So that viewers around the world can follow the action live, all races were broadcast on the official Adidas Running YouTube channel. The stream had been viewed almost 60,000 times by April 30, 2024, which shows the interest in such events.

There is no doubt that this type of event offers many advantages: optimal conditions for fast times for athletes, entertainment for spectators and perfect marketing for the organizer. But at the same time, the question arises as to why these events are not held in publicly accessible locations in order to offer even more entertainment for a larger audience and to be able to experience the spectacle live. It is undoubtedly a dream of many young runners to see so many stars live.

After the elite races, amateur runners could enter the 5k and put their motivation into action by chasing their PB on the same course as some of the fastest runners in the world, or just for fun.

“Seeing these athletes run makes me feel like I can run fast, even though I know I can't actually run fast. So it's definitely motivating to see these runners live.”

- Kit (spectator)

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