Last place, with a swoosh

A British writer spent six months in search of the secret of Kenya’s dominance of distance running. One of the first things he noticed:

Another difference is that virtually all the children are running barefoot. Barefoot running is a growing trend in the west, based on the theory that conventional running shoes force you to run in an inefficient and injury-inducing style. It’s interesting to note that here the only children wearing running shoes are at the very back of the field.

In one race, the further back in the field the girls finish, the better their shoes, to the absurd extent that the girl with the newest, sleekest running shoes of all comes in last, while the girl whose shoes are only slightly worse finishes second to last.

Ironically, the prize for the winner in each race is a pair of Nike running trainers.


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