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Joseph Sitienei has run the half-marathon in little over an hour and has run a sub-2:20 marathon. He’s never done it in the Spira sneaker. Come Monday morning, the 32-year-old Kenyan intends on running the Boston Marathon in the controversial footwear which has drawn the ire of the United States Association of Track and Field (USATF). Sitienei insists he is wearing the shoe more for comfort than performance. “When I run, I don’t feel any pain,” said Sitienei. “When I wear the other shoes, I can feel myself hitting the ground with my feet. With this shoe, you just feel so more comfortable. “You don’t run any faster with these shoes, you just feel better.” Ever since the USATF instituted a rule in 2005 which banned any sneaker with a spring or similar device, Spira has waged a running battle with the USATF, insisting its track shoe gives no runner an unfair advantage. Spira filed a lawsuit last Monday claming that the USATF Rule 143 which purportedly bans spring technology for competition consistutes a violation of the Sherman Anti Trust Act and a restraint of trade. “All we’ve wanted to do is bring attention to the issue,” said Spira CEO Andy Krafsur, who offered $1 million to any runner who won the 2006 Boston Marathon wearing his sneaker. “We want to begin a dialogue to get the issue resolved in a matter that’s in everyone’s best interest. “Boston is not the issue here. They’re sort of in the middle of this because this is not their rule. I feel badly for the Boston officials because they are being put in somewhat of a difficult position.” Other elite runners who will defy the ban and run the Boston Marathon with the Spira sneaker include Charles Nyakundi Nyamoki, Belay Teka Kassa, Tamrat Awalew, Jared Nyamboki, Birhanu Wukaw, Josphat Ongeri and Oleg Strijakov.”

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Very interesting story, I never knew that there'd be so much controversy over a pair of shoes. Wonder what will happen after this race..

Trail Running Blog
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A competitor may compete in bare feet or shoes or both legs. The purpose of shoes for competition is to protect and stabilize your feet and grab the country. These shoes, however, be so constructed that it is unfair to give a competitor an additional aid.
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