October 5, 2007

Radcliffe to make marathon return

Britain’s Paula Radcliffe will race in her first marathon for more than two years in New York on 4 November.

Radcliffe, 33, returned to action last Sunday at the Great North Run, following injury and the birth of her daughter.{{more}}

The world record holder has not competed in a marathon since she won at the World Championships in August 2005.

But she has good form in New York, winning the race in 2004, just weeks after dropping out of the marathon and 10,000m in the Athens Olympics.

Radcliffe said: “This year is an exceptional field, and I am looking forward to being part of the event again.

“The race holds a special place in the world of marathon running and also in my heart.

“I love the buzz of the city, the unique atmosphere of the race, and the amazing crowd support.”

After a 21-month break from racing, Radcliffe may be hard-pushed to emulate her triumph in New York, where she won a thrilling sprint finish over Kenya’s Susan Chepkemei.

She will be up against two-times New York champion Jelena Prokopcuka, Berlin marathon champion Gete Wami, 2007 world champion Catherine Ndereba, and 2007 Boston marathon champion Lidiya Grigoryeva.

Race director Mary Wittenberg added: “She could have chosen an easier path, but in typical Paula fashion, she has chosen to return in one of the deepest and most competitive women’s fields ever assembled.

“We have come to expect no less.”