Nike’s next project: superhuman speed!
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Nike’s next project: superhuman speed!

Global market leading sports apparel brand Nike – probably best known for its trainers, which have retained their popularity for decades – is no stranger to ambitious projects. Understandable, given that the company works with some of the finest physical specimens on the planet and has “Just Do It” as a motto. But the company’s latest plans are bold by even its standard: to break the two-hour marathon.

The current record for the fastest run marathon belongs to Dennis Kimetto, a Kenyan who ran the London Marathon in 2:02:57 in 2014. Nike is signing up three elite runners – Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya), Lelisa Desisa (Ethiopia), and Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) – to shave almost three minutes of Kimetto’s time in a project it calls “Breaking2”.

It’s no small task – according to Runner’s World, it could take until 2075 to go below 2 hours for the entire marathon. The magazine examined the speed at which previous records had been beaten – and by how much – to create its forecast.

The key to Nike’s ambitious undertaking is the Nike Zoon Vaporfly Elite – a custom-made shoe unavailable to the public, which makes use of impressive new technology to give runners an edge. This shoe is lighter than other running shoes, but (unlike the majority of lighter running shoes) can return as much as 13% more energy to the runner’s step than a standard trainer. While the public won’t be able to get their hands on these masterpieces, a stripped down version will be made available: the Nike Zoon Vaporfly 4%. This public version of the technology will retail at $250 a pair.

Nike’s running footwear director, Bret Schoolmeester, discussed the technology with Fortune magazine, saying:

"People are always asking, a shoe can't make you faster? But we are happy to say that it can based on this project."

Disclosure
Dominion holds Nike in its Global Trends Luxury Fund.


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