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Ch-Ch-Changes

January 16, 2020

A lot of people have asked me about New Balance so I thought I’d write a post. Unfortunately I didn’t re-sign with NB this year. They offered me a contract for 2020 but I decided to change things up (I’ll get to that…). To be honest, the contract was smaller than before. But to be fair, I have only run 2:15 in the past few years. I don’t think any company out there wouldn’t have reduced their offer.

As you know the Nike Vaporfly has changed the face of marathoning. You can look at the World Records, Area Records, WWM podiums, Olympic qualifiers… and you can see the shift in performances. A few years ago I wasn’t so sure about the hype. In 2018 I started to realize that the Vaporflys were helping some athletes. And then in 2019 it was blatantly obvious that the Vaporflys are on another level.

The way I see it I have one shot left at qualifying for the Olympics (I need to run sub 2:11:30 and be “ranked” top 3 in Canada) and I don’t want to second guess it. New Balance has some marathon racer prototypes that I used in 2019. They came out with a better version in November 2019, that is really good. But there is something about the springiness of the Vaporfly foam that sets it apart. I think other shoe companies will eventually come around with comparable shoes. I bet NB comes out with a competitive model but that model isn’t going to be ready for this spring when I try and run an Olympic qualifier.

It’s not as though I’m the only elite with these thoughts. In the recent Hakone Ekiden 84% of the 210 runners wore the Vaporfly. At the Hakone Ekiden in 2017 only 17% of the runners wore Nike. Also, I know of many instances across four different shoe brands where athletes can use the Vaporflys to race. Otherwise you’re bringing a knife to a gun fight.

I can’t say enough good things about New Balance. I like their company culture and I’ve been happy with their products. They support elite athletes and probably do a better job than most companies in that regard. It was a tough decision to leave NB but I think it’s better that I did it at renewal than to re-sign and then decide to wear Vaporflys in April.

I’ve been with New Balance since 2008 and in those years we did some really cool things. One of the highlights is when they released a Canada version of the 890 heading into the 2012 Olympics. They also made custom 1400 race flats for myself and Eric Gillis for the Olympics.

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I can’t thank NB enough for the support over the years. It was a privilege to work with such a great company.

Up next is the Robbie Burns 8km in Burlington. I’m looking forward to having a rust buster and testing out my fitness as I head into marathon training. I still don’t know what marathon I’ll be running. Hopefully I figure that out soon as I will have to start training for that in the coming weeks.

One Comment
  1. January 18, 2020 8:59 am

    Crazy excited you’re going for it.
    All the best!

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