UK version[US]
home | contact | site map

Paula Radcliffe

[Photo of Paula Radcliffe]

17 December 1973

2:15:25 (London, 2003)


25Sep11 BMW Berlin Marathon 3rd 2:23:46
01Nov09 ING New York City Marathon 4th 2:29:27
02Nov08 ING New York City Marathon 1st 2:23:56
17Aug08 Olympic Games Marathon, Beijing 23rd 2:32:38
04Nov07 ING New York City Marathon 1st 2:23:09
14Aug05 IAAF World Championships Marathon, Helsinki 1st 2:20:57
17Apr05 Flora London Marathon 1st 2:17:42
07Nov04 ING New York City Marathon 1st 2:23:10
22Aug04 Olympic Games Marathon, Athens DNF
13Apr03 Flora London Marathon 1st 2:15:25
13Oct02 The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon 1st 2:17:18
14Apr02 Flora London Marathon 1st 2:18:56


Paula Radcliffe has revolutionized the concept of how fast a woman can run 26 miles 385 yards.

At the 2003 Flora London Marathon, Radcliffe did so in just 2 hours 15 minutes 25 seconds, averaging 5:09.9 per mile/3:12.56 per kilometer. It was the first and only time in history that the women's world record was within 10 minutes of the contemporary men's record (2:05:38).

Radcliffe was an international caliber athlete by the age of 17 placing 15th in the 1991 junior World Cross Country Championships and fourth at the 3000 meters in the European Junior track championships. In junior competition in 1992 she won the gold medal in the World Cross Country Championships and finished fourth at the 3000 meters in the World track championships.

As a senior athlete she has continued to excel in every discipline.

She won World Cross Country gold medals in 2001-2002; silver medals in 1997-1998 and a bronze medal in 1999.

On the track at 5000 meters she was the 2002 Commonwealth Games champion and three-time European Cup winner, including a personal best of 14:29.11 in 2004. At the 1998 European Challenge 10,000 she ran the fastest debut ever (30:48.58) and eventually became the second fastest ever at 30:01.09 at the 2002 European Championships. In addition to the gold medal there Radcliffe won the 1999 World Championships silver medal.

But it has been on the road that Radcliffe has staked her claim to immortality. Among her many accomplishments have been two world records at 5K (14:57 and 14:51), the current world record at 10K (30:21) and the current world best time for the half-marathon (1:05:40). In both 2000 and 2001 she won the IAAF World Half-Marathon championships.

Radcliffe made a sensational marathon debut at London in 2002 as her 2:18:56 just missed the world record by ten seconds. She then took possession of the record that fall in Chicago (2:17:18) and followed with her 2:15:25. Her 2004 Olympic experience was traumatic as she was forced to drop out, but she bounced back that fall with a victory at the ING New York City Half-Marathon.

She continued to excel at the marathon in 2005 with an all-women's race world record of 2:17:42 at London and then she finally won a World Championships gold medal at Helsinki that summer.

After her maternity lay-off and time needed to heal from foot surgery and a stress fracture in her sacrum she returned to competition on September 30, 2007. She placed second at the Great North Run Half-Marathon in 1:07:53 and then won the ING New York City Marathon five weeks later in 2:23:09.

Short on full fitness due to injuries leading to her build-up for the Beijing Olympics, Radcliffe struggled to a 23rd place finish. However, she climaxed the year with her third ING New York City Marathon, putting her second only to Grete Waitz for victories at that race and becoming the second woman to win two Majors three times.

Radcliffe was hampered by injury in her build-up to the 2009 New York City Marathon, reportedly not running in the two weeks prior. Her fourth place finish was her first ever defeat in a non-Olympic marathon.

After giving birth to a son, Radcliffe returned to marathoning at Berlin in September 2011 and qualifier for the 2012 London Olympics with a third place 2:23:46, her fastest time in almost four years.


Radcliffe married Garry Lough (a 3:34.76 1500m runner) in 2000. On January 17, 2007 gave birth to daughter Isla and on September 29, 2010 gave birth to son Raphael. She has a degree in European Languages from Loughborough University. Radcliffe became a MBE in 2002 and was the British Sports Personality of the Year in 2002. Her great aunt Charlotte won a silver medal at the 4 x 100 freestyle swimming relay in the 1920 Olympics.