Pang Su Ting
Running against all odds with ‘special’ shoes (Part 2): Prof Ansgar Cheng
On 30 October 2022, Singapore Athletics (SA) organized an Inter-Club Championships event where Prof Ansgar Cheng participated in his first-ever 10,000m race. Out of the 21 runners, averagely aged 25 (most of them were in their teens to late twenties), Prof Cheng came in 8th with a timing of 39:32.22. Considering the race was held under the scorching sun (30 degrees), and he injured his toes during the process, some may consider it a decent performance.
As the world continues to evolve, so does technology for running shoes. Some new shoes are designed and considered to have an unfair advantage. To avoid discrepancies, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF, World Athletics) has a list of approved shoes qualified for races. Runners need to run with shoes under the approved list to prevent being disqualified (which unfortunately happened to one of the runners in the race).
Most sports people, like runners, would stick to using equipment they are highly comfortable in and used to. Nonetheless, due to the shoe requirement, Prof Cheng has to buy a pair of new shoes. However, he conveniently forgot that new shoes require socks and/or some break in mileage to season up the shoes. After the race, both he and his toes were toasted!