Athletics: Radcliffe outlines road to Olympic marathon

With the aches and pains of her previous day's exertions eased by two iced baths – one on Sunday night, one at 8am yesterday morning – Paula Radcliffe felt able to take a long cool look at her immediate career opportunities less than 24 hours after the triumphant defence of her London Marathon title.

On a day when her world best performance of 2hr 15min 25sec was being hailed by the London race director, Dave Bedford, and the athletics historian and statistician, Peter Matthews, as the greatest achievement in the history of running, the 29-year-old Bedford runner might have been forgiven a few flights of fancy. But her attitude remained as determinedly down-to-the-ground as, well, an emu.

She acknowledged that, after finishing four and a half minutes clear of the second-fastest woman marathon runner of all time, Kenya's Catherine Ndereba, she was more likely to choose the marathon rather than the 10,000 metres at next year's Athens Olympics, even though she is wary of the shift in schedule that will mean the race is in the heat and humidity of the evening.

But looking to the nearer future, Radcliffe is not ruling out attempting a double at this summer's World Championships in Paris, where the 10,000 metres, her main target, comes before the 5,000m. "I'll wait and see how I feel after the 10,000 and then I'll decide whether to go for the 5,000 as well," she said.

Nor is Radcliffe ruling out the possibility of setting world records at both the track distances to match the one she holds over 26 miles 385 yards. She lowered her 5,000m best to 14min 31.42sec in winning the Commonwealth title, just over three seconds away from the world record of 14:28.09 set by Jiang Bo of China.

Her 10,000m best of 30min 01.09sec, set in winning the European title, is still half a minute adrift of Wang Junxia's timing of 29:31.78, although Radcliffe's physical therapist, Ger Hartmann, insisted after Sunday's race that she would have been capable of running at least 29min 45sec if she had been doing a 10,000m, and that she was getting faster.

"It's definitely possible to get close to the records," said Radcliffe, "although I think the 5,000 is more realistic. I would like to try and do it at some point, but it doesn't have to be before the World Championships."

Between now and Athens, Radcliffe has a few other possible targets lined up, including the World Half Marathon Championships in Vilamoura, Portugal, in October, the European Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh in December and the World Cross Country Championships in Brussels next March.

What seems certain is that she will not compete in next year's Flora London event, as it is too close to the Olympic Games. The organisers will probably find it in their hearts to forgive her after what she has done for their event in the space of the last 12 months.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003