Marathon call has Freya Murray in dash to London Olympics


Freya Murray spent yesterday morning putting the finishing touches to a housing project, sitting in the Newcastle office of the firm for whom she works as a structural engineer.

In the afternoon she was getting ready for life as a last-minute Olympian, her selection as the replacement for Paula Radcliffe having been rubber-stamped by the International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations.

"I was booked on flights to America on Sunday, the day of the Olympic marathon," the 28-year-old Scot revealed. "My plans had been made to be in London to attend the athletics in the Olympic Stadium on Friday evening and then be at the marathon on Sunday as a spectator.

"I was due to fly to the United States overnight on the Sunday and head for Boulder in Colorado for altitude training for an autumn marathon. I've never been so happy to cancel and alter travel arrangements. I will still be at the Olympic marathon but now I won't be standing on the sidelines cheering people on."

Murray, who is coached by Steve Jones, holder of the British men's marathon record, learned of Radcliffe's withdrawal on Sunday. "I was about to do the week's shopping in Asda when I got a text from Paula," she said.