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Paula Radcliffe: Stronger Than Ever?
by: LetsRun.com
November 2, 2007


Paula Radcliffe may not have run a marathon in over 2 years, but she is the star in the marathoning world.

That was evident Friday in New York, when Radcliffe got her own press conference at the 2008 ING NYC Marathon. Just hours before Radcliffe's press conference two time World Champion Catherine Ndereba had to share the podium with some of the lesser stars running this weekend in NY.

But Paula's incredible 2:15:25 marathon in London in 2003, 3 minutes and 22 seconds faster than any other woman in the history of the world, puts her on another stratosphere from all the other women in the sport - at least from a media standpoint.  We'll find out Sunday if she's still in another running stratosphere as Paula did not chose a small stage for her return to marathoning. She will be facing an incredibly strong women's field led by Ndereba. Also in the field are World Marathon Majors leader Gete Wami and two time defending champ Jelena Prokopcuka (For more on Prokopcuka and Wami click here). It certainly is one of the strongest women's fields ever assembled outside of a World Championships or Olympics.


If anyone thought a 2 year layoff from marathons (while she had her daughter, Isla)would slow Paula down, they had better think again if her words at Friday's press conference mean anything. Paula indicated she feels stronger than she ever has. She said, "Stamina wise I'm a lot better and can run for longer and faster than I could before. Some of that might be a part from being older and some of that a benefit from the pregnancy."

Paula indicated the break has made her come back refreshed for racing. "The time away has refreshed my hunger for racing and given my body a little bit of downtime which in the long run isn't a bad thing either," she said.

Although in listening to her talk about her training during her pregnancy, one has to wonder if Paula ever lost the incredible drive she is known for. It certainly didn't seem like it as Paula admitted she said she ran twice a day until 5 months in her pregnancy. She then dropped it down to once a day but would cross train for her second workout a day through 7 months. It wasn't until then that she backed off to running every other day.

Radcliffe clearly feels she has unfinished business in the sport, and the gaping whole on her resume is the missing Olympic medal. Radcliffe however indicated she has not given up on running faster than 2:15:25, a time that would make her the 14th fastest entrant in the US men's Olympic Marathon Trials on Saturday. Radcliffe said, "I'd like to still think in perfect conditions, on the perfect day, in perfect preparations I could still run faster than I have."

Sunday we'll all find out how far Radcliffe has come in her comeback, but from her talk on Friday, don't be surprised if much has changed. (Video Below)
More Paula:
Philip Hersh Profile in LA Times
British Article on Comeback
*Brendan Foster:
Paula is Britain's Best Hope for Gold in 2008

Video from Paula Radcliffe's Press Conference

Highlights (2:40)


Paula Radcliffe's Press Conference (14 Minutes)

*Previous Videos

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