This is our New Year's Special, and we are featuring our 2021 pick for most inspiring interview. We are replaying our interview with Tez Steinberg about his solo row across the Pacific 2700 miles from California to Oahu, HI in 71 days. The physical, mental, technical and mechanical challenges seem to be an Everest-level achievement.
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In Today's Show
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We spoke to Tez Steinberg in the summer of 2019. He was preparing to do the solo row from California to Hawaii in the winter 2019-2020. We stayed in touch to follow his story. His schedule was delayed until the summer of 2020. While most of us were isolating because of COVID, Tez was isolated by himself for 6 weeks 2,700 miles, documenting the plastic in the Pacific and collecting , and raising $76K for scholarships to United World College.
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On January 31, 2020, World Athletics, the governing body for professional track and field, issued new guidelines concerning shoes to be used in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics. These updates came to answer the complaints many people have had concerning the technology in the Nike Vaporfly running shoes. These complaints have been happening since 2017-2018 but World Athletics did not give a more clear answer until January 2020. The major changes of these guidelines state that the "sole must be no thicker than 40mm" and that "the shoe must not contain more than one rigid embedded plate or blade (of any material) that runs either the full length or only part of the length of the shoe. The plate may be in more than one part but those parts must be located sequentially in one plane (not stacked or in parallel) and must not overlap". The components of the shoes are not the only thing that had major changes; starting April 30, 2020, "any shoe must have been available for purchase by any athlete on the open retail market (online or in store) for a period of four months before it can be used in competition".
World Athletics (track and field’s governing body, formerly the International Association of Athletics Federations) made its highly anticipated announcement on the regulation of running shoe technology. Although there had been rumors in recent weeks—aggravated by several bogus news stories—that the organization was planning on making Nike’s coveted Vaporfly Next% racing shoe illegal in elite competition, this does not appear to be the case.
Rather, World Athletics will be prohibiting the use of shoe prototypes in competition. (This is a good idea.) The new rule states: “From 30 April 2020, any shoe must have been available for purchase by any athlete on the open retail market (online or in store) for a period of four months before it can be used in competition. If a shoe is not openly available to all then it will be deemed a prototype and use of it in competition will not be permitted.”
Additionally, World Athletics has issued an “immediate moratorium” on any shoe that has a heel stack height of more than 40 millimeters and more than “one rigid embedded plate or blade (of any material).”
Placing a limit on sole thickness has been one of the proposed solutions on how to best regulate shoe technology going forward. The breakthrough innovation of Nike’s original Vaporfly 4% shoe, released in 2017, was that it combined a carbon fiber plate with an unusually thick (over 30 millimeters) super lightweight Pebax foam midsole. Some fear that if this design development goes unchecked, racing shoes might veer towards the farcical; imagine future runners bounding along in airy platform shoes.
Make no mistake, the new 40-millimeter limit is not arbitrary. The maximum stack height of Nike’s Vaporfly Next% is usually reported at around 36 millimeters, and therefore sneaks under the new threshold. However, the shoes that Eliud Kipchoge wore when he became the first man to run a marathon in under two hours last year in Vienna (code name: “AlphaFly”) are potentially well over the limit, although Nike has not provided any data since the shoe hasn’t been released.
World Athletics has approved new shoe rules and regulations for competition. The new rules have brought a major update to the future of the sport, as athletes will not be allowed to wear shoes that have over a 20mm stack height during competition. This rule is set to be implemented in November 2024, which is after the Paris Summer Olympics and the 2024 Diamond League season.
The previous rule was 20mm stack height for sprint and hurdle events up to 400m and 25mm for events 800m and above. The sport has seen a technological revolution in footwear over the past 10 years, but with new innovations come challenges to maintain a fair level of competition.
What's New in the 303:
Several organizations are collecting donations to help people affected by Thursday's devastating wildfire in Boulder County.
The Marshall Fire has destroyed more than 500 homes and burned more than 1,600 acres as of Thursday evening. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated as the fire spreads through the Superior, Louisville and Broomfield areas.
Several Colorado nonprofits are collecting funds to help people affected by the fires. Here's how to help. Community Foundation Boulder County
American Red Cross
YMCA evacuation center
Rocky Harris sent out his year end message and here's what he said.
A few things stood out to me in 2021:
There is no doubt 2022 and beyond will bring us a future brighter than it ever has been. And that future has been created by you. So I thank you – for all you’ve done, continue to do, and will do; for challenging USA Triathlon to be the best organization it can be; for never backing down in the face of an incredibly trying 20 months; for giving all of yourself to our sport and community.
Morgan Pearson and Inside Wrapper
Merry Christmas! Be sure to tell us your favorites from 2021!
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Stay tuned, train informed, and enjoy the endurance journey!