On Sunday, November 6, Sharon Lokedi, of UA Mission Run Dark Sky Distance won the 2022 New York City Marathon wearing a World Athletics-approved prototype of the next iteration of the UA Flow Velociti Elite, with a time of 2:23:23. Traditionally specializing in the 5k, 10k, and half marathon distances, the NYC Marathon was Lokedi’s marathon debut and a celebration of a long journey to compete.
Lokedi targeted the iconic New York course after a very successful spring racing on the roads, knowing the characteristics of this particular marathon course would play into her strengths. In March, Sharon ran 68:14 and finished 4th at the New York Half Marathon, a major step forward at that distance. She paired this result with incredible 10k races against global best fields at the Great Manchester Run in Manchester, UK and in Manhattan at the Mastercard Mini 10k.
According to coach Stephen Haas, Lokedi’s training in Kenya earlier this year showed noticeable improvements in the quality of her training and her ability to recover, indicating she was ready to tackle the distance successfully. Even with unusually warm temperatures in NYC this year, Lokedi went into the race with the attitude and confidence that she could win, calling on her training experience to give her the leg up in tough conditions and ultimately upsetting seasoned marathoners and world champions alike. In addition to her UA Flow Velociti Elite footwear, Lokedi was outfitted head to toe in a UA Mission Run apparel kit featuring UA RUSH technology, serving as a top apparel innovation at UA that was clearly put to the test on race day.
"It’s an honor to be Under Armour’s first pro-run athlete to win a major marathon! I am beyond grateful to be part of a brand that supports and builds athletes to be the best they can. Since I signed with UA in 2019, there has been a lot of progress with footwear development and this win was a culmination of all the work we have been putting in both as an athlete and as a brand.”
- Sharon Lokedi, 2022 NYC Marathon Winner & UA Mission Run Dark Sky Distance Athlete
Originally from Eldoret, Kenya, Lokedi attended the University of Kansas where she saw steady improvement in her performance which would ultimately propel her future as a professional distance runner. After a successful career in Kansas, including a NCAA 10000m championship, Sharon joined Under Armour in 2019, and has been a pivotal team member in the launch and development of Dark Sky Distance run team and UA Mission Run.
Today, Lokedi trains in Flagstaff, AZ with UA Mission Run Dark Sky Distance under the direction of coaches Stephen Haas and Pat Casey. According to Casey, Lokedi has brought a constant positive and welcoming vibe since she joined the team. One of the longest standing team members, she is humble, easy going and brings a good attitude to every workout. Since the team’s founding, these coaches, alongside UA, have worked to build out the UA Mission Run roster with strong athletes that train around Lokedi.
“In order to be competitive in major races and major marathons, it is paramount to have competitive footwear. I am grateful that Under Armour recognized this crucial athlete problem and got behind what we were trying to do with an innovation the market needed. Sharon trained with a version of the Flow Velociti Elite in Kenya and was able to put together her best training to date, as well as recover from her sessions adequately. The result was the level of marathoning she presented to us in NYC.”
- Stephen Haas, UA Mission Run Dark Sky Distance Coach
Lokedi achieved victory at the New York City Marathon in a World Athletics-approved prototype of the next generation of UA's first-ever super shoe, the UA Flow Velociti Elite, after achieving PRs in the shoe at various distances leading up to the big race. The shoe first debuted on UA Mission Run athletes ahead of the World Championships in Eugene, OR this past summer - Lokedi was next to debut the prototype of a future iteration on the streets of NYC as part of UA’s athlete wear-testing process.
UA Mission Run has seen other recent notable achievements by UA athletes wearing the UA Flow Velociti Elite, such as Weini Kelati’s 5k unchallenged consecutive title win this past weekend at the 2022 USATF 5k Championships. Kelati ran a winning time of 15:16 to break her own course and championships record which was set just last year. Such milestone moments have demonstrated the impact these footwear innovations have on athlete performance and that UA has nailed the intent of delivering a propulsive race-day solution for its pro distance runners.
“From concept to creation, UA athletes are an integral part of identifying the problems that our footwear creation team sets out to solve; and in this case, we’ve learned that the race-day ready level of responsive cushion, propulsion, and lightweight breathability make a fundamental difference in their performance.”
- Doug Smiley, Director of Performance Run Footwear at Under Armour
UA athletes, including Lokedi and her teammates, have worked closely with the UA in-line and innovation footwear teams to provide crucial testing and feedback on the UA Flow Velociti Elite and all upcoming race-day solutions. The professional runners were an integral part in the wear-testing process from the beginning. Lokedi’s experience and performance in her hardest workouts over the past year informed and empowered many of the key aspects of the development of the UA Flow Velociti Elite, and UA footwear in general. The resounding feedback was that the shoe was a significantly impactful tool in the athletes’ training and on race day; allowing them to put in more quality work, with less strain on the body.
Runners can grab a pair of the UA Flow Velociti Elite for themselves in Spring 2023 when the shoe launches globally.