Paula Jane Radcliffe, MBE (born 17 December 1973) is an English long-distance runner. She is the current women's world record holder in the marathon with her time of 2:15:25 hours. She is a three-time winner of the London Marathon, two-time New York Marathon champion, and won the 2002 Chicago Marathon.
Radcliffe is a former world champion in the marathon, half marathon and cross country. She has also been European champion over 10,000 metres and in cross country. On the track, Radcliffe won the 10,000 metres silver medal at the 1999 World Championships and was the 2002 Commonwealth champion at 5000 metres. She has represented Great Britain at the Olympics four times consecutively (1996 to 2008), but has not won a medal on the Olympic stage.
Radcliffe is an asthma sufferer who is against the use of drugs in sport. She is married to her coach, Gary Lough, and has two children.
Marathon world record
In 2002, Radcliffe made the move up to the marathon, a decision that immediately paid off with victory at her debut in that year's London Marathon on 14 April 2002 in a world's best time for a women's only race (2:18:55). Her time was the second quickest in women's marathon history behind the world record of 2:18:47 set by Catherine Ndereba, of Kenya, in Chicago.
Later that year, Radcliffe set a world record time of 2:17:18 in the Chicago Marathon on 13 October 2002, breaking the previous record by a minute and a half.
She was awarded an MBE in June 2002. She said: "It means a great deal to me, it's a great honour and it really tops off an amazing year. "To come here and receive this and to meet the Queen at the end of it just finishes it off perfectly.
Later the same year, she became the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, making her the first woman in over a decade to be honoured with the accolade. Paula thanked her husband Gary Lough, her coach Alex Stanton and her physio, Gerard Hartmann.
Other achievements and awards
Awarded the BBC London Sports Awards 2003 for 'Sporting Moment of the Year'.
Radcliffe has set numerous records, official and unofficial, on the track and the roads. As of November 2009, she holds the official world record for 10 km on roads. She has twice won the World Half-Marathon championships, twice the World Cross-Country championships (in 2001 and 2002), and in December 2003 became European Cross-Country champion for the second time, the only woman to have achieved this feat in the event's ten-year history.
In 2004 Radcliffe joined with Jonathan Edwards on an Olympic Special Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. The pair raised £64,000 for charity, half of that sum going to the British Olympic Association and a quarter of the sum going to Asthma UK.
Nominated for the Sports Personality Award in 2007.
Won the Laureus World Comeback of the Year award in early 2008 for her performances in 2007.
Paula Radcliffe was born to Peter and Pat Radcliffe Radcliffe is the niece of 1920 Olympic Silver medalist Charlotte Radcliffe. Radcliffe met her husband Gary Lough, a former Northern Irish 1,500 m runner, when he was her lodger at Loughborough University. The pair married in 2001. At age 33, she gave birth to her first child, daughter Isla, after a 27-hour labour in 2007. Her second child, a son, Raphael, was born on 29 September 2010.