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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea