Road Running

Paula’s perfect emotional farewell in London #ThanksPaula

Paula Radcliffe’s career has been one of high-risk and pushing the boundaries to the limits which has brought much success but also some tear-jerking lows. Radcliffe traversed the streets of London today one last time in tear-jerking fashion – but this time it was for all the right reasons and couldn’t have been planned any better.

Her time: 2:36:55 and an Olympic qualifying time. “I went out way too fast,” she said immediately after the race. Minutes previously her daughter Isla was at the finish line in tears. A touching moment.

Paula with her children Raphael and Isla. Image via PhotoRun

Paula with her children Raphael and Isla. Image via PhotoRun

Her husband, Gary Lough, who is known as a hard man could only utter words in the post-race interview: “slightly emotional.” It truly would have brought a tear to a glass eye. Radcliffe has never given anything but her best throughout her whole career. The lengths she went to are brought home in an interview by Cathal Dennehy here and with Gerard Hartmann here. “You can’t come to London and not give it your best shot,” she commented afterwards.

More than Radcliffe’s success is her personality and generosity that shines through. “I just wanted to thank as many people as possible and take those memories with me,” said an emotional and happy Radcliffe post-race.

Her success in the marathon is almost unfathomable but she has also given back to many athletes including Mo Farah. Among all the tweets that shone through the most was Michael Rimmer’s on how she ran him up as a teenager encouraging him.

It’s this caring nature that makes people love Paula Radcliffe. She’s been accommodating to many Irish athletes at altitude training camps in Font Romeu over the years. Her steel and resolve has inspired runners of all levels and abilities. Her emotional 26.2 mile run was the perfect long goodbye. We can only thank her for the memories. And I’m sure she will be see at many races to come “just running” but giving it her all. “This is not the end, I will still be out running but not competitively.” Her competition to do her best will never end.

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Feidhlim Kelly

Feidhlim Kelly

Con Houlihan once told me that tomorrow is now. In taking on this venture I’ve started to try and put his words into action.

I worked for Con from 2007 till his passing in 2012 taking down his copy and a whole lot more. I have a Con Houlihan section which will go in to more depth on that.

I’m a long-time contributor to the Irish Runner magazine and am also working for the Irish Examiner.

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