NEW YORK FLYER
Radcliffe set the second fastest time ever for a women's 10
kilometre road race on Saturday.
the New York "Mini Marathon" in 30 minutes and 47
seconds, smashing the course record of 31:00 set by Norway's Grete
Waitz 21 years ago.
The time has
been bettered in a 10K road race only by the 30:39 run by fellow
Briton Liz McColgan in Orlando, Florida, in 1989.
course was flat, but Radcliffe's effort came on a tough course
with two major climbs.
the days leading up to the 30th running of the New York Women's Mini
Marathon, much of the attention was deservedly focused on Paula
Radcliffe. After all, the World Cross Country Champion has been on a
tear as of late, winning six of her last eight races, and finishing
in the runner up spot in the other two. Radcliffe seemed slightly
uncomfortable with the attention, though, telling reporters on
not just me. There are many other women in the race."
it was all Radcliffe on Saturday, pulling away from Tanzania's
Restituta Joseph at two miles to crush the field in 30:47,
shattering the course record of 31:00 set by Grete Waitz in 1980.
set the early pace, with only Radcliffe covering her initial move at
about the 1K mark. "The
plan before the race was to keep it steady and open up at about two
Radcliffe said, "But
Restituta took it out pretty hard and I felt comfortable with
the time the first mile was covered, in 4:59, Joseph and Radcliffe
had a five-meter gap on Fernanda Ribeiro in third. Joseph and
Radcliffe slowly squeezed down the trigger over the next kilometre,
hitting two miles in 9:58 and doubling their lead on the chase pack.
who set a Tanzanian national record in the 5,000 meters last Monday,
quickly dropped a few meters behind Radcliffe soon after passing the
third and fourth miles are the toughest on the course, but Radcliffe
continued to build up her lead. "In
the third and fourth miles I made a conscious effort to keep pace
and remain relaxed and remain strong."
Radcliffe said, "I
just wanted to keep pace."
Radcliffe had a 10 second lead on Joseph at three miles, passed in
14:49, a lead that had grown to 25 seconds by the time Radcliffe had
passed through four miles in 19:58.
back in the chase pack, Ribeiro, who edged out Radcliffe for the
bronze in the Sydney Olympic 10,000, and was expected to challenge
here, was experiencing a flare up of a previous injury. She would
finish in 7th place. "On
the course there were so many ups and downs that I had an
said after the race.
front, Radcliffe continued to extend her lead over Joseph. "It
Joseph said, "because
Paula kept pushing, but the chase pack was not pushing, so I didn't
have any help in trying to catch Paula."
could catch Paula, though, as she blitzed through five miles in
24:48, very close to the world best for the distance. Aware of her
proximity to the course record, long thought to be "unbreakable,"
Radcliffe continued to push the pace. "I
didn't want to rest on the fifth mile. I really respect Grete and I
just kept pushing it and pushing it."
ran the final 2K in an amazing 5:59, her win netting her $10,000,
plus another $6000 in incentives and bonuses.
The mark was only
eight seconds off Liz McColgan's world best set in Orlando in 1989,
but David Monti, a road race statistician and New York Road Runners'
Elite Athlete Coordinator, believes Radcliffe's run is stronger. "McColgan’s
best was set on a very flat course,"
Monti said, "This
is a better mark, as far as I'm concerned."
finished more than a minute ahead of Joseph, whose 31:53 was
her second Tanzanian national record of the
week, bettering her fourth-place finish from last year.
Following Joseph was Florence Barsosio (32:26) and Jane Ngotho
(32:33) of Kenya.
Reigning New York City Marathon Champion Ludmila
Petrova of Russia rounded out the top five in 32:36. Gordon Bakoulis,
a resident of New York City, was the top American, finishing in
16th. Her finishing time of 35:02 also made her the first Masters
Division (40+) finisher.
Fernanda Ribeiro, the 1996 Olympic gold medallist and 2000 bronze
medallist in the track 10,000 meters, was never in contention. She
finished joint-sixth in 32:51 and afterwards needed an ice pack
for an inflamed ankle.
than 3,700 women finished the 2001 New York Women's Mini Marathon.