This week’s Woman Crush Wednesday comes to you courtesy of the wonderful, the inimitable, the supreme: Paula Radcliffe. Even as a child, completely uninterested in athletics, Paula Radcliffe was always on my radar; regularly competing in (and winning) Olympic events, The London Marathon and The Great North Run.But I don’t think it was until Paula retired from professional racing in 2015 that I truly appreciated her, and what she’s done for the sport of running in the UK.
It’s thanks to Paula that the sport of running has grown so much in the past 10 years.
It’s thanks to Paula that a generation of women have laced up their shoes and taken up the sport.
And it’s thanks to Paula that I didn’t let anyone tell me I couldn’t run a marathon.
The following documentary was commissioned ahead of Paula’s retirement, when she ran the London Marathon as a muggle. If you have half an hour I highly recommend giving it a watch!
Some stats on Paula:
- She’s the current World Record Holder for the Women’s Marathon, with a time of 02:15:25. Just think about that for a moment!
- She was awarded an MBE in 2002 after winning her debut London Marathon with a time of 02:18:55.
- On her return to professional racing following the birth of her first child, she ran the 2007 New York City Marathon in 2:23:09, and did wonders for the perception of female athletes who’ve had children.
- She has suffered multiple stress fractures in her back and femur, and tore a disk in her back- and yet she overcame every one of those injuries.
- She officially retired from professional running in 2015, and has transitioned to commentating for the BBC.
- She’s written countless articles, blogs and features on how to be your best runner, both in the marathon and over shorter distances.