Athletics: Radcliffe to end year at Madrid meeting

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The Independent Online

The world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe will finish another successful year by competing in the San Silvestre Vallecana New Year's Eve meeting in Madrid.

Radcliffe will compete in the 10-kilometre road race which attracts not only an élite entry - top Australians Craig Mottram and Benita Johnson defeated Paul Tergat and Catherine Ndereba to win last year - but about 10,000 fun runners in the Spanish capital.

She has raced only twice since winning her first world championship gold medal in the marathon in August, but the 32-year-old, who is spending the Christmas break at home in Loughborough rather than her Font Romeau training base, is back in full training. The world No 1 has been troubled by a bronchial problem after Helsinki but that is now well under control.

Radcliffe will certainly find the atmosphere in Spain a lot more relaxed than she is used to, although she can expect to face some world-class opponents.

"They spray shaving cream and streamers all over you," said Mottram, who overcome the unusual environment of Madrid to beat Tergat, Kenya's world marathon record holder, 12 months ago.

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