Paula Radcliffe #tbt Running Legends

Paula Radcliffe Quote

I might even go as far to say I am Paula’s biggest fan, she gets me all emotional, I love her. Which apparently is quite a normal way to feel about Paula Radcliffe – during her career she had publicity, public opinion and media stories ranging from love letters to hate mail. To me the hate (and I can say this because I watched her documentary I thank you), really reflects only those people who don’t know, care or consider the real work involved in becoming an elite athlete, they’re only there for the race, the story, the gossip. Here’s an article from the Independent explaining how she’s no quitter mate!

Oh right, sorry…to get back on track: today’s #throwbackthursday running legend is…have you guessed it…Paula Radcliffe!

You know Paula, heart-on-her-sleeve-Paula. You know about Athens-gate, doping-gate (ARGH!!!) and world record-gate! And that’s what I’m focussing on today – the world records – in light of one of them just being broken at the London Marathon.

Why Does (Did) Paula Radcliffe Have Two Women’s Marathon World Records?

Well, it’s all about the pacing. When Paula set her 2:15:25 marathon record in 2003 (emosh!!! – see video below) she ran with men – she had male pacers. This was later made out to be an issue and so this was / is given the title of Mixed Gender Women’s Marathon World Record.

These days elite women set off earlier than everybody else in a marathon to prevent women using men as pacers. When Paula, and Mary Keitany at the London Maz 2017, set the record of 2:17:42 / 2:17:01 respectively, these were done in a women’s only race – with only female pacers. So this record is the Women Only Women’s Marathon World Record.

You geddit?

This was a motion passed by the IAAF Congress in 2011, effective Jan 2012, that women’s world records must be set in all-women competitions. Reportedly it’s Paula’s 2:15:25 marathon record that caused this motion – she’s so radical they had to make new rules for her, oh yeah!

Now pleeeaaase just watch these two clips…I’ve ordered them to end on a high but get the tissues ready for the first one: