Paula Radcliffe

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Paula Radcliffe athletics

Paula Radcliffe in Berlin.jpg
Paula Radcliffe at the Berlin Marathon (2011)

nation United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
birthday 17th December 1973 (age 46)
place of birth Northwich
size 173 cm
Weight 54 kg
discipline Long distance running
Best performance Marathon: 2:15:25 h (WR)
End of career 2015
Medal table
World championships 1 × gold 1 × silver 0 × bronze
Cross Country World Championship 3 × gold 3 × silver 1 × bronze
Half marathon world championship 3 × gold 0 × silver 0 × bronze
Commonwealth Games 1 × gold 0 × silver 0 × bronze
European championships 1 × gold 0 × silver 0 × bronze
Cross-country championships 3 × gold 0 × silver 0 × bronze
IAAF logo World championships
silver Seville 1999 10,000 m
gold Helsinki 2005 marathon
IAAF logo World Cross Country Championships
gold Boston 1992 Juniors
silver Turin 1997 Long haul
silver Marrakech 1998 Long haul
bronze Belfast 1999 Long haul
gold Ostend 2001 Long haul
silver Ostend 2001 Short haul
gold Dublin 2002 Long haul
IAAF logo Half marathon world championships
gold Veracruz 2000 singles
gold Bristol 2001 singles
gold Vilamoura 2003 singles
Commonwealth Games Federation logo Commonwealth Games
gold Manchester 2002 5000 m
EAA logo European championships
gold Munich 2002 10,000 m
EAA logo European Cross Country Championships
gold Ferrara 1998 singles
gold Edinburgh 2003 singles
gold Edinburgh 2003 team

Paula Radcliffe ( Paula Jane Radcliffe ; born December 17, 1973 in Northwich , Cheshire ) is a former long-distance runner from the United Kingdom .

She held the world record in the marathon until October 13, 2019, for over 16 years, ran the London Marathon 2003 with a time of 2:15:25 h, was world champion over the same distance in 2005 and won the New York- Marathon ( 2004 , 2007 , 2008 ) and the London Marathon (2002, 2003 and 2005 ).



Paula Radcliffe grew up in a sports-loving family. Her great-aunt Charlotte Radcliffe won a silver medal in swimming at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp with the British 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay.

Radcliffe achieved her first successes in cross-country skiing , including the title of junior world champion in 1992. After she had to take a break in 1994 due to an injury and was even considering retiring, she achieved impressive results on the track in the following years . In 1996 she became English champion in the 5,000-meter run , and in 1998 she broke Liz McColgan's almost seven-year-old British record on her debut in the 10,000-meter run in Lisbon with 30: 48.58 minutes .

Start of the international career

The great successes at the World Athletics Championships and Olympic Games were initially denied to her. At the 1995 World Championships in Gothenburg she was fifth over 5000 meters, the same place she finished over the same distance at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta , and fourth at the 1997 World Championships in Athens .

In 1998 she won her first international adult title at the European Cross Country Championships and at the 1999 World Championships in Seville with a second place over 10,000 meters, the first place on the podium at this tournament.

The 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney brought another disappointment when she finished fourth over 10,000 meters. She had led 24 of the 25 laps, but was overtaken by the winner Derartu Tulu as well as Gete Wami and Fernanda Ribeiro in the final meters . In the autumn of the same year, however, she won the World Half Marathon Championships in Veracruz , and it became apparent that she could achieve the successes in road running that were denied her due to a lack of speed on the track.

The same pattern was repeated the following year. The season got off to a promising start with a victory at the World Cross Country Championships , but at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton , it was overtaken by three Ethiopian runners in front of the finish line, finishing in ungrateful fourth place. On the other hand, she was able to defend the world title in the half marathon in Bristol with 1:06:47 h and only missed Elana Meyer's world record by three seconds .

In 2002 she defended her cross-country world title, won her first international title on the track with a British record (14: 31.42 min) at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester over 5000 meters and her first international title over 10,000 meters at the European Championships in Munich in 2002 where she set a European record with 30: 01.09 min, which was only broken in 2008 by Elvan Abeylegesse . Nevertheless, she drew the conclusion from her experience - not least in view of the only African competition that was absent there - to devote herself mainly to marathon running in the future : over the longer distance, her ability to evenly and efficiently distribute strength was better demonstrated.

Marathon successes in series

Paula Radcliffe 2005.jpg

Paula Radcliffe just before the finish in the marathon at the World Championships in Helsinki, 2005

Paula Brooklyn NYCM 2007 cropped.jpg

Paula Radcliffe on her way to victory in the New York City Marathon , 2007

Even before the European Championships in 2002, she had won the London Marathon in 2:18:56 h and was instantly the second fastest woman in the world over this distance. In the fall, he won the 2002 Chicago Marathon in a world record time of 2:17:18 hours. In the same year she was named World Athlete of the Year and the BBC Sports Personality of the Year , Great Britain's Sportsman of the Year.

In 2003 she started the season at the World's Best 10K , which she had already won the previous year, with a world record (30:21 min) in the 10 km road race . At the London Marathon she then set another world record with 2:15:25 h. An injury prevented participation in the World Athletics Championships, but to compensate for this, she was again world champion in the half marathon and European champion in cross-country running in Vilamoura in autumn . The Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport then voted her World Sportswoman of the Year .

After setting a new best time over 5000 meters in Bydgoszcz in June at 14: 29.11 minutes (making her the fifth fastest woman of all time over this distance), she experienced a great disappointment at the marathon of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens when she had to give up exhausted a few kilometers before the finish. She said the reason for the sudden drop in performance so late in the race was a sensitive reaction in her stomach to an anti-inflammatory drug that she was given to treat an injury sustained shortly before the tournament. She silenced doubts about her form with her victory at the New York City Marathon that same season.

In 2005 she ran in the London Marathon, in which the elite women entered the race separately, the fastest time ever achieved in an all-women marathon: 2:17:42 h.

At the World Championships in Helsinki in 2005 , she competed in the two longest running disciplines. Over 10,000 meters she tried again with a speed run from the front, but could only survive this up to half the distance. She kept up with the leading group until the beginning of the final round, but she did not follow the final sprint of the four Ethiopian runners and ended up ninth. Her real ambitions were anyway the marathon, where she set the pace from the start and set a new record for world championships with 2:20:57 h.

Baby breaks and comebacks, end of career

After a baby break of almost two years, she made her comeback on November 4, 2007 with a victory at the New York City Marathon in a time of 2:23:09 h.

The following year was marked by injuries. Problems with her toes prevented her from starting the London Marathon, suffered a fever after being bitten by a spider, and eventually diagnosed with a fatigue fracture of the femur . Nevertheless, shortly before the Olympic Games in Beijing , she decided to take part in the local marathon. She was able to keep up up to kilometer 30, after which her calf started to cause problems so that she had to stop briefly at kilometer 37 to stretch it. In a time of 2:32:38 h, she finally took 23rd place. Her track record in the marathon has so far only been tarnished by her two Olympic marathons. She was always victorious in her other seven starts and achieved four of the five fastest times ever (as of August 2008). In November 2008 she won the New York Marathon . A year later she suffered her first marathon defeat outside of the Olympic Games in New York ; she suffered from knee problems and only came in fourth.

Radcliffe had their second child in the fall of 2010. On September 25, 2011, she made her comeback at the Berlin Marathon, where she finished third in 2:23:46 hours. She had to cancel the 2012 Olympic Games in London due to an injury.

On April 26, 2015, Paula Radcliffe ended her career with the London Marathon.

Sporting successes

Date / year rank competition venue distance time
Nov 12, 2000 1 World Half Marathon Championships 2000 MexicoMexico Veracruz half marathon 1:09:07
0June 9, 2001 1 New York Mini 10K United StatesUnited States New York City 10 km road run 0:30:47
0Oct 7, 2001 1 2001 World Half Marathon Championships United KingdomUnited Kingdom Bristol half marathon 1:06:47
Feb. 17, 2002 1 World's Best 10K Puerto RicoPuerto Rico San Juan 10 km road run 0:30:43
Oct 13, 2002 1 Chicago Marathon 2002 United StatesUnited States Chicago marathon 2:17:18 WR
Feb 23, 2003 1 World's Best 10K Puerto RicoPuerto Rico San Juan 10 km road run 0:30:21 WR
Apr 13, 2003 1 London Marathon 2003 United KingdomUnited Kingdom London marathon 2:15:25 WR
0Oct. 4, 2003 1 World Half Marathon Championships 2003 PortugalPortugal Vilamoura half marathon 1:07:35
0Nov 7, 2004 1 2004 New York City Marathon United StatesUnited States New York City marathon 2:23:10
Apr 17, 2005 1 London Marathon 2005 United KingdomUnited Kingdom London marathon 2:17:42
Aug 14, 2005 1 World Athletics Championships 2005 FinlandFinland Helsinki marathon 2:20:57 CR
0Nov 4, 2007 1 New York City Marathon 2007 United StatesUnited States New York City marathon 2:23:09
0Nov 2, 2008 1 2008 New York City Marathon United StatesUnited States New York City marathon 2:23:56
Aug 16, 2009 1 New York City Half Marathon United StatesUnited States New York City half marathon 1:09:45
0Nov 1, 2009 4th New York City Marathon 2009 United StatesUnited States New York City marathon 2:29:27
25 Sep 2011 3 Berlin Marathon 2011 GermanyGermany Berlin marathon 2:23:46
Apr 15, 2012 1 Vienna City Marathon AustriaAustria Vienna half marathon 1:12:03

Best times

distance time place year Remarks
1500 m 4: 05.37 min Glasgow 2001
1 mile 4: 24.94 min Zurich 1996
3000 m 8: 22.20 min Monaco 2002 Commonwealth Record
5000 m 14: 29.11 min Bydgoszcz 2004 Commonwealth Record
10,000 m 30: 01.09 min Munich 2002 European record
10 km road run 30:21 min San Juan 2003 World record
half marathon 1:06:47 h Bristol 2001 European record
marathon 2:15:25 h London 2003 World record

Running style

Paula Radcliffe was known as a speed runner who designed her races from the front. Because of her limited sprinting ability, she was often caught on the track in the final sprint. Her running style was characterized by "jerky" head movements.


Paula Radcliffe is 1.73 m tall and has a competition weight of 54 kg. She has been married to the middle-distance runner Gary Lough since 2000 (best performance: 3: 34.76 min 1995 in the 1,500 meter run ). In January 2007 she gave birth to a daughter and in September 2010 she had a son.

Radcliffe graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in European Studies with Honors; she speaks fluent German and French.



In 2002 she was awarded the Order of MBE .

Web links

Commons : Paula Radcliffe  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Usain Bolt World Athlete for the fourth time , November 24, 2012
  2. ^ IAAF: Radcliffe: Looking ahead to London 2012 . August 17, 2008
  3. ^ Paula Radcliffe out of Olympics marathon with injury , BBC July 29, 2012
  4. Jörg Wenig: Paula Radcliffe's big farewell in London, April 29, 2015, accessed on December 29, 2015.
  5. Complete listing in the Statistics section on your website
  6. ^ Portrait of Paula Radcliffe at Runner's World , accessed December 29, 2015.
  7. Paula Radcliffe really wanted to run in Berlin Berliner Morgenpost, September 23, 2011, accessed on December 29, 2015.
  8. It's a girl! ( Memento of October 3, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Message on Paula Radcliffe's website, January 17, 2007
  9. Paula Radcliffe starts in Berlin , article in Tagesspiegel from June 25, 2011, accessed on August 10, 2011.
  10. Paula's winning streak takes time ... ( Memento of March 14, 2006 in the Internet Archive ) - BBC, April 2003
  11. Vienna City Marathon 2012 Interview with Paula Radcliffe. (No longer available online.) YouTube , formerly the original ; accessed on April 26, 2015 (interview in German about the marathon in Vienna - video no longer available).  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /