What we learnt from a chat with Paula Radcliffe

With so much going on at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon we just wanted to revisit an interview we sat through with the running legend and remaining world record marathon holder Paula Radcliffe. The interview was with Tim Hutchings and along side Paula was race director Hugh Brasher.

“On that day in 2003 everything came to together and it came very very close to being the best I was capable of doing”.

What did we learn? Well. lots but here’s a few highlights:

  • Paula’s performance changed the conversation on women’s running.
  • Paula has been awarded the Spirit of London award.
  • Paula’s dad ran the London Marathon and Paula dreamed of running London as a child.
  • It was 1992 that Paula became aware that the marathon would be her distance.
  • One of her sweetest victory’s was the World Cross Country Championships 2001.
  • “Don’t really aim for times, just trying to run faster then you have previously done”.
  • Paula’s dad said “Once you get a gap, don’t give it up just keep going”.
  • Crossing the line in 2002 she knew she could get the world record.
  • Camaraderie you get with the marathon. every runner goes through the same emotions throughout the race. At the finish you are going to have learnt something about yourself and be a stronger and better person.
  • I have never come back from a run and felt worse than I did when I went.

Paula Radcliffe

  • Always been a matter of time before the record will go. Never thought it would stand for 15 years.
  • When crossing the finish line saw Dave Bedford who said “is not going to see that beaten for a while”,  at that point I thought I could still improve on it.
  •  A marathon is very much about what goes right on the day.
  • Longer it has gone on the more I have got attached to it and it feels like part of the family.
  • Lets run asked “when people question your record, do you think that the fact that others are approaching and people talking about it being broken again it does that make you feel vindicated at all?”. Paula “No because I didn’t feel guilty in the first place”.
  • Consult for Athletics Integrity Unit, very proud to be associated with that.

“Athletics is a beautiful sport and the clean athletes are the most important people in the sport and have the right to be protected and a right to be able to prove they are clean and to compete on a level playing field”

  • If you can’t be out there competing the next best seat is to be commentating on it.
  • For me London is the fastest course because of the support and because of the history it had for me.
  • I did get into better shape in training afterwards but it didn’t coincide with a race – you have be to right shape at the right time.
  • When I was 11 starting out I had two dreams, one was watching Ingrid Christensen and wanted to run as well as she did and run well over the marathon, I also watched the Los Angeles Olympics and I wanted to win an olympic medal.
  • The goals I formulated through my career, I just wanted to be able to finish my career and say ‘yeah, I achieved what I was capable of’.
  • Maybe I wanted the Olympics too much and overcooked it in training.
  • Don’t believe in having regrets.
  • The record will always be my personal best and something I am very proud of.

“I wouldn’t swap my record for an Olympic gold”


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