After a year that saw the emphatic pushing of the reset button for marathon running, what will 2020 bring? It’s an Olympic year and running events will feature strongly as the blue riband occasions of the Tokyo Games.
So, let’s pretend we are in a photo finish for the men’s 100m gold medal and stick our necks right out. Here’s our predictions for what the next 12 months will bring...
Eliud Kipchoge Not To Break Two Hours
After his trailblazing sub-two hour run over the marathon last year, the Kenyan icon will not be able to replicate the feat in official races, particularly at the Olympic Games - the most tactical race of all.
Brigid Kosgei To Improve The World Record
Slightly overshadowed by Kipchoge in breaking Paula Radcliffe’s 14 year old women’s best time in Chicago last year, Brigid Kosgei will lower the record again this year. At just 25, her peak years are still ahead of her.
NIke To Vaporfly Off The Shelves
After the exploits of the above wearing Nike Zoom Vaporfly Elite trainers, expect to see thousands of the ‘must haves’ pounding the roads at races the length and breadth of the UK. Unsure whether to fork out, the inner runner will be screaming 'Just Do It' to shoppers at sports shops nationwide.
Mixed Bags For Brits in Japan
Dina Asher Smith will follow up her World Championships exploits with Olympic gold over 200m and Laura Muir will win a well-deserved first Olympic medal in the 1500m. But on his comeback to 10,000m running, Mo Farah will fall short of retaining his Olympic title aged 37 in the wake of younger men led by Uganda’s world champion Joshua Kiprui Cheptegei.
Fads To Fade
After a surge of interest this millennium for themed events around paint bombs, mud and music, 2020 will be the year when the interest withers. Parkrun’s growth shows no signs of abating and its enduring success is a driver behind people’s search for community-led authenticity at their events of choice.
Green To Be The New Black
Race organisers will increasingly make sustainability a key part of their events. Expect a real reduction in single use plastic bottles and greater use of biodegradable water pods and other alternatives at 10ks, half marathons and marathons.