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Radcliffe sets British record

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Paula Radcliffe (Bedford & County) gave a reminder of her world class credentials as she stormed to victory in the BUPA Great South Run on Sunday in a new British record time.

 

The 34 year old broke Jill Boltz’s 17 year old 10 mile national best of 51:41 by 30 seconds in what looked the ideal tune-up for next Sunday’s New York Marathon.

 

Radcliffe broke clear of the pack after a searing second mile of 4:57, which her rivals were simply unable to live with. In fresh, but wet conditions, she was ahead of world record pace for much of the race but eventually missed out by a mere 21 seconds.

 

Nonetheless, it was a hugely impressive return to top form after the disappointments of the Beijing Olympics, where she was severely hampered by a leg injury.

 

Radcliffe said: "I'm just pleased to be back racing. It's all about next week, I wanted to get in the racing feel. I felt in the last two miles it was going to be really windy, so saved a lit bit for that. Actually it wasn't too bad down the sea front as I was psyched up for it to be.


"The only thing to recover from in Beijing was that I wasn't in shape. I hadn't done enough running. I think I've done a bit more now and I felt more confident standing on the start line because you know you've done the preparations. At the Olympic Games I wasn't prepared and just had to get on with it. I just wanted to use today to have to have a good blow out.


"I didn't want to really totally hammer it, because I've a more important race next week but at the same time it was good to come down here. I felt good running it and didn't feel I left anything out there. When I finished my legs felt okay and I just didn't want to give everything today."

 

Portugal's Jessica Augusto was second in 53:15secs, with Kenya’s Magdalane Mukunzi of Kenya was a further three seconds adrift in third. Hayley Yelling (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) was best of the rest of the Brits, 8th in 56:14.

 

In the men’s race, Kenya’s Bernard Kipyego won in 46:43. Olympic marathoner Dan Robinson (Stoud AC) was the leading British finisher in 9th with 48:12.