What a few days! On the same day that Kara Goucher did a superb intereview with
USATF, NYRR announces that Paula Radcliffe, world record holder in the marathon, will choose to run ING New York in 2007! The day after the Men’s Olympic marathon trials, Geta Wami and Paula Radcliffe will duke it out on the final race of the first Five Major Marathon biannual contest.
Radcliffe has had a baby plus injuries and her return to fitness showed this past weekend when she took second to Kara Goucher at BUPA Great North. Here is the press release sent out yesterday by the New York Road Runners!
Paula Radcliffe Joins Womenâ€™s Professional Field for ING New York City Marathon 2007, Courtesy of the New York Road Runners
Marathon world record-holder returns after more than two years
New York, October 3, 2007â€”After more than two years away from the marathon, world record-holder Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain will return at the ING New York City Marathon 2007 on Sunday, November 4, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO and race director Mary Wittenberg.
Radcliffe, 33, last ran a marathon at the World Championships in Helsinki on August 15, 2005, which will make it two years and 81 days between 26.2-mile races. Radcliffe gave birth to her first child, daughter Isla, on January 17 of this year.
Radcliffe returned to competition on Saturday by placing second at the BUPA Great North Run half-marathon on Sunday in Newcastle, England, her first race since New Yearâ€™s Eve in 2005.
â€œPaula is a living legend and the greatest woman marathoner,â€ Wittenberg said. â€œHers is the most highly anticipated return to the marathon, after a two-year absence and a mere eight months after the birth of her daughter. She could have chosen an easier path, but in typical Paula fashion, she has chosen to return to compete in one of the deepest and most competitive womenâ€™s fields ever assembled. We have come to expect no less.â€
Radcliffe was the ING New York City Marathon champion in 2004. No woman has won for a second time with more than a one-year hiatus.
â€œI am delighted to be returning to the ING New York City Marathon,â€ Radcliffe said. â€œThe race holds a special place in the world of marathoning and also in my heart. I love the buzz of the city, the unique atmosphere of the race, and the amazing crowd support, and I am excited to be part of the event once again. This year is an exceptional field, and I am looking forward to making my return to racing in New York.â€
Radcliffe owns the womenâ€™s marathon world record of 2:15:25, which she set in 2003 at the Flora London Marathon. She made her marathon debut a year earlier in London, running 2:18:56, still the fifth-fastest time in history and the womenâ€™s-only world best at the time. She owns four of the five fastest womenâ€™s marathon times in history and has six victories in seven marathon starts, including three victories in London, one apiece in New York and Chicago, and at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki.
In 2004, only 10 weeks after dropping out of the Olympic Marathon in Athens, Radcliffe made a stunning return in New York, winning a thrilling sprint finish over Kenyan Susan Chepkemei by three secondsâ€”the closest womenâ€™s finish in New York history.
This year, Radcliffe joins one of the strongest womenâ€™s professional fields in history, highlighted by two-time ING New York City Marathon champion Jelena Propokcuka, 2006 and 2007 real,- Berlin Marathon champion Gete Wami, 2007 World Champion Catherine Ndereba, and 2007 Boston Marathon champion Lidiya Grigoryeva. The womenâ€™s race will be particularly interesting, as the inaugural World Marathon Majors series positions and the winner of the $500,000 prize purse will be determined in New York.
For more information on the New York Road Runners, try: http://www.nyrr.com