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Oct 27, 2019

In this episode, we switch gears from talking about the unfair advantage created by the use of performance enhancing drugs to potential unfair advantage created by the use of performance enhancing footwear. 

Host Chris McClung leads a panel discussion with Kara Goucher, Alex Hutchinson, and Ryan Hall to discuss the implications of shoe technology in light of recent performances by Eliud Kipchoge (who broke 2 hours in the marathon) and Brigid Kosgei (who now owns the world record in the marathon for women). 

Kara Goucher (@karagoucher), of course, is co-host of the show and is an elite-level US distance runner who competed in the Olympics twice for the US at the 10,000 meter and marathon distances. She owns a silver medal from the World Championships in the 10,000 meters and has finished 3rd place at both the NYC and Boston Marathons.
Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience) earned his PhD in Physics from the University of Cambridge, and has been writing his Sweat Science column for over 10 years exploring the science behind running and performance. Previously with Runner's World and now with Outside magazine, he continues his pursuit of the truth on the science of sport. In Alex's recent book - Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance - he also covered Eliud Kipchoge's first attempt to break the 2 hour barrier in the marathon. 

Ryan Hall (@ryanhall3) is a two-time Olympian and the fastest ever US marathoner with a PR of 2:04:58 and also the current US half marathon record holder. He also now the coach of his wife Sara Hall who just ran a marathon PR of 2:22 at Berlin and who will be competing to earn a spot on the Olympic Marathon team in Atlanta next February. As an Asics athlete, Sara is potentially disadvantaged by not having access to the same shoe technology that facilitated these recent breakthrough performances.
In this discussion, we get reactions from all of the panelists on the performances of Kipchoge and Kosgei and the shoes that led to them, plus talk about what should be done (or not) to regulate this technology in order to level the playing field. This is a complicated topic that requires leadership and transparency from the IAAF, and we appreciate the level-headed and balanced discussion from Kara, Alex, and Ryan.