There was a time when Paula Radcliffe was the one with the catching up to do on Jo Pavey. Back in 1988 Radcliffe finished some 90 metres adrift when Pavey broke the British Under-15 record for 1500m in the English Schools Championship.
Twenty years on, at the age of 35, Pavey is turning her thoughts towards the challenge of the marathon, the event at which Radcliffe holds the world record. "I want to try and run a marathon next year," she revealed yesterday as she prepared for tomorrow's Bupa Great North Run, in which she will be tackling the 13.1 mile half-marathon distance for a second time.
Long term, Pavey has her sights set on the same target as Radcliffe: the Olympic marathon in London in 2012. First, though, the Commonwealth 5,000m silver medallist needs to show some encouraging form at the half-marathon distance, having finished a disappointed and somewhat distressed fourth in the Great North Run two years ago. Her rivals in the field of 52,000 on the road from Newcastle to South Shields include the former world cross-country champions Gete Wami of Ethiopia and Benita Johnson of Australia. Kenya's Luke Kibet starts as favourite in the men's race.