Friday, November 2, 2007

Paula Radcliffe press conference highlights...

Paula Radcliffe talks about her preparations for Sunday's ING New York City Marathon Friday at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. /photo by Paul Merca

Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain, the current world record holder in the marathon, spoke to members of the media today at Tavern on the Green in advance of Sunday’s ING New York City Marathon.

Here are some of the highlights:

On whether or not she will run another marathon before Beijing: I don’t know. I will have to play it by ear.

On combining motherhood and the demands of being a world class athlete:
So far, I am really enjoying combining the two. One important thing with me is that the happier I am, the better I run. I’ve been very lucky, as (husband) Gary Lough is really good with (Isla, born on January 17th). She’s definitely a daddy’s girl, and she’s used to traveling a lot. You have to be organized a lot with her, but the benefit is that you spend a lot less time worrying about the race.

On recovering after the pregnancy: It took me a little longer than I anticipated, because I had an injury afterwards. Having said that, I felt stronger coming back afterwards. Stamina wise, I feel a lot better, and feel like I can run longer than before.

On whether she will be cautious in the early part of Sunday’s race: I doubt it. I feel prepared to run well over the marathon distance, so I will go and run my race.

On the field for Sunday’s race: I would equate the field to that of a major championship race. With the exception of the Japanese and Deena (Kastor), this is a great stage to make a return.

On whether or not she feels recharged after the pregnancy break: Unfortunately, it’s been a longer break than I had planned because of the injury (a stress fracture of the sacrum), but at the same time, the break has refreshed my desire to come back to racing. It’s given my body a bit of down time, which isn’t a bad thing either. My core is stronger than it’s ever been.

On her pregnancy: I was really lucky. I had a great pregnancy. I ran through the first five months. Up until then, I was running twice a day. After that, the priority changed from getting the number one benefit of training to making sure the baby was fine. From seven months on, I ran about every other day based on how I felt.

On not having pacemakers in the women’s elite race: With the quality of the field, I don’t think it will make much difference. In men’s racing, the pacemakers go a long ways, but it’s very rare we have pacemakers unless it’s a mixed race. With the field as strong as it is, people are going to be listening to each other more.

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