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Paula Radcliffe

Paula Radcliffe destroyed her rivals to win the 2005 London Marathon, her third title here, with a time of 2 hours, 17 minutes and 42 seconds.

The world record holder struck out on her own after six miles and but for an unscheduled toilet stop in the 22nd mile maintained a relentless pace.
Radcliffe posted the third fastest women's run with Romania's Constantina Dita over five minutes back in second.
Kenyans Susan Chepkemei, who finished third, and Margaret Okayo paid for trying to stay with Radcliffe early on.

Radcliffe's pace was to much for the rest of the field and her winning time was the fastest ever in a women's-only race, beating the previous best of 2:18:56 she set on her on her debut in 2002.

Two years ago she set the world record of 2:15:25 when she ran with the men, but insisted victory - her fifth international marathon win - was the main goal this time.
"It was about winning again," she added. "A lot of people thought that after what happened in Athens I was never going to be the same again.
"My mind pushed my body as far as it would go in Athens but today my body felt good."

"Obviously I would have loved to have run a personal best but I have still run a fast time in the conditions."

Paula after winning Chicago Marathon
Paula Radcliffe was featured as our top lefty for May, but her athletic performances later in the season proved that she has more than deserved to be our Top Lefty of the year.

Apart from winning the London Marathon that we featured back in May, she has also won the Commonwealth Games 5,000m, the European 10,000m title, and the World Cross Country title.

Perhaps the highlight of the year was Paula's sensational run in Chicago, improving the world record by 90 seconds and leaving Catherine Ndereba trailing two minutes behind.

The world's top female marathon runner has also been honoured as one the UK's Women of the Year capped with an Outstanding Achievement Award from the annual Women of the Year Lunch and Assembly in London.

For receiving this aword she commented: "However much talent you have you won't achieve things unless you are prepared to put in hard work, the commitment and the dedication".

Paula at the European Athletics championships

Also, Paula has rounded off a remarkable 2002 by winning the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award. The runner triumphed in a public phone poll vote, with England football star David Beckham the runner-up and record-breaking jockey Tony McCoy in third. Radcliffe was a clear winner with a total of 619,577 votes. Beckham polled 113,539 and McCoy 87,972.

We believe that her wondrous achievements of 2002 are a mere springboard to what she will achieve in the future.

So congratulations Paula and Good Luck !

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