Paula Radcliffe

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Paula Radcliffe

Paula Jane Radcliffe (born December 17, 1973) is an English long-distance runner. She is the current world record holder for the women's marathon, which she set during the 2003 London Marathon, with a time of 2:15.25.

Contents

Early career

Radcliffe was born in Northwich, Cheshire and studied modern languages at Loughborough University. Her early running success was in cross country events, including the 1992 World Junior title, beating Wang Junxia. She missed the 1994 season through injury, but came back with a succession of good results at 5000m, including fifth place in both the 1995 World Championships and 1996 Olympic Games. However, Paula seemed destined never to win a major 5,000m or 10,000m title, finishing out of the medals again at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

Radcliffe is not known for her sprint finish, and so to win a race must attack and leave her competitors behind, as was seen in the 10,000 metres at the 2000 Olympic Games when she finished fourth despite leading for 24 laps out of 25.

Later Career

In 2002, Paula Radcliffe made the move up to marathon distance, a decision that immediately paid off with victory at that year's London Marathon. She went on to win the same event twice more, claiming the world record in 2003. She has also won the Chicago Marathon and the New York Marathon. Indeed, of the six marathons Radcliffe has run so far, she has won five, building up a claim to be the best female distance runner of all time.

Paula Radcliffe did not compete in the London Marathon in 2004, but was the favourite to win the gold medal in the marathon at that year's Olympic Games. However, she suffered an injury to her leg just two weeks prior to the event, and was forced to use a high dose of anti-inflammatory drugs. Unfortunately, these had an adverse effect on her stomach and resulted in food failing to be absorbed. This in turn resulted in a lack of energy and carbohydrates in her system before the start of the race, and lead to her emotional withdrawal after 36km. Five days later, she started in the 10,000m but still suffering from the effects of the marathon, was forced to retire with 8 laps remaining.

She made a strong comeback in her next competitive marathon, winning the 2004 New York Marathon in a time of 2 hours 23 minutes 10 seconds after a close finish during which she took a decisive lead over Kenya's Susan Chepkemei only at the very end. At the 2005 London Marathon she won with a time of 2 hours 17 minutes 42 seconds, although the victory was overshadowed in some parts of the British media by her need to take an al-fresco toilet break mid-race.

Paula Radcliffe also holds the world records for 10, 20 and 30km on roads. She twice won gold at the World Cross-Country championships (in 2001 and 2002), and in December 2003 became European Cross-Country champion for the second time, the only woman to have achieved this feat in the event's ten-year history. Forced out of the Paris World Athletics Championships because of injury in 2003, her greatest moment on the track has been European gold at 10,000m in 2002. She has proved herself a good runner at distances as low as 5000m, too, running 14:31.42, just three seconds behind the world record, to win gold at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

She was awarded an MBE in June 2002, and later in the year became the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Anti doping

Paula Radcliffe's athletic ability and commitment to training are accompanied by a strong belief in playing by the rules. She has frequently made high-profile condemnations of performance-enhancing drugs in athletics, most famously at the World Athletics Championships in Edmonton in 2001 when Radcliffe and team-mate Hayley Tullett held up a sign protesting against the reinstatement of Russian athlete Olga Yegorova, after Yegorova had tested positive for the banned substance EPO. Radcliffe also wears a red ribbon when competing to show her support for blood testing as a method of catching drugs cheats.

Achievements

Personal bests

  • 400m - 58.9
  • 800m - 2:05.22
  • 1000m - 2:47.17
  • 1500m - 4:05.37
  • 1 mile - 4:24.94
  • 2000m - 5:37.01+
  • 3000m - 8:22.20
  • 2 miles - 9:17.4
  • 4000m - 11:35.21+
  • 5000m - 14:29.11
  • 10,000m - 30:01.09
  • 5km road - 14:48+ (unofficial WR)
  • 4 miles road - 19:51+
  • 5 miles road - 24:47+
  • 8km road - 24:05+ (unofficial WR)
  • 10km road - 30:21 (WR)
  • 15km road - 46:41+ (WR)
  • 10 miles road - 50:01+ (WR)
  • 20km road - 1:02.21+ (WR)
  • Half Marathon - 1:05:40 (WR)
  • 25km road - 1:20:36+ (WR)
  • 30km road - 1:36:36+ (WR)
  • 20 miles road - 1:43:33+ (WR)
  • Marathon - 2:15:25 (WR)

Bibliography

External links


Preceded by:
David Beckham
BBC Sports Personality of the Year
2002
Succeeded by:
Jonny Wilkinson

Template:End boxda:Paula Radcliffe de:Paula Radcliffe fr:Paula Radcliffe ja:ポーラ・ラドクリフ nl:Paula Radcliffe sv:Paula Radcliffe

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