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Summary Article: Radcliffe, Paula (Jane)
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English long-distance runner. She won the 2002 London Marathon on her debut at the distance; her time of 2 hours 18 minutes 55 seconds set a new course record and was the fastest-ever time in a women's-only race. Later that year, in only her second marathon, she won in Chicago, Illinois, with a world best of 2 hours 17 minutes 18 seconds. In 2002 she won her second consecutive gold at the World Cross-Country Championships and the following year won her third half-marathon world title in four years. She lowered the marathon record again in 2003 when she won over the London course in 2 hours 15 minutes 25 seconds.

Career highlights

World Championships gold marathon 2005; silver 10,000 metres 1999

World Half Marathon Championships gold 2000, 2001, 2003

World Cross-Country Championships gold long course 2001, 2002; silver long course 1997, 1998; silver short course 2001; bronze long course 1999

Chicago Marathon 2002

London Marathon 2002, 2003, 2005

New York Marathon 2004, 2007, 2008

Commonwealth Games gold 5,000 metres 2002

European Championships gold 10,000 metres 2002

AwardsIAAF Female Athlete of the Year 2002

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2002

Radcliffe was born in Northwich, Cheshire. Despite numerous other victories in track, road, and cross-country events, prior to the 2002 London Marathon she had been better known for her disappointments: she was overtaken in the final lap during the 10,000 metres at the 1999 World Championships, and finished in fourth place at the same distance at the 2000 Olympic Games after having led for all but the final stages. More disappointment followed in 2004 when, as favourite, she dropped out of the marathon at the Athens Olympics and also dropped out of the 10,000-metre race five days later. In 2005 she won her third London marathon and won over the same distance at the World Championships in Helsinki. In 2008 Radcliffe won her third New York marathon.

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