on November 1, 2008 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Radcliffe seeks another New York marathon revival

NEW YORK (Reuters) – World record holder Paula Radcliffe loves autumn in New York and said on Friday it was the perfect stage for another racing revival when she defends her New York City Marathon title on Sunday.

Radcliffe, twice a winner of the race through the five boroughs of the city, is coming off a 23rd-place finish at the Beijing Olympics where injuries hampered her preparation.

“I’m excited, as always, to be back in New York,” the 34-year-old Briton told reporters. “I’m just really looking forward to getting out and racing hard and getting a good result out there. November is just New York to me.”

Radcliffe, 34, has already registered two stirring marathon comebacks on the streets of New York.

In 2004, she won after health problems forced her to drop out of the Olympic marathon in Athens. Last year, Radcliffe claimed her second New York crown less than 10 months after the birth of her daughter.

Radcliffe said she considered herself fresh having recovered quickly from the Beijing run in August.

QUICK RECOVERY

“I wasn’t able to run anywhere near as hard as I wanted to be able to in that race,” she said. “So in terms of what it took out of my legs, it was kind of less than a hard training run.

“They recovered pretty quickly and what I needed to do then was just get out and run and get myself in shape.”

Husband and manager, Gary Lough, said she was her old self three weeks after the Beijing Games and had done her customary preparation, averaging between 130 and 140 miles a week.

“I’m properly prepared and feel well and ready to race,” said Radcliffe, who is aiming to become the second woman to win more than two New York marathons after nine times champion Grete Waitz of Norway.

Last week, the Briton won the 16km Great South Run in Portsmouth, England, and this week she has been enjoying light training runs around the reservoir in Central Park along with some of the 39,000 entrants in Sunday’s race.

“That’s one of the things I love about coming to New York in marathon week,” she said. “It seems like everyone in the park is either getting ready to run in the race or is going to be out there supporting or is going to be here supporting somebody else.

“And that’s like one big family.”

Radcliffe, winner of seven of the eight marathons she has finished, faces a strong field that includes long-time rival Gete Wami of Ethiopia, last year’s runner-up, and world marathon champion Catherine Ndereba of Kenya.

(Editing by Ken Ferris)