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Radcliffe Breaks Marathon Record

October 14, 2002|Associated Press

CHICAGO — Paula Radcliffe ran the fastest marathon ever by a woman Sunday in only her second effort at the grueling distance.

The 28-year-old British runner's victory in a chilly, windy Chicago Marathon in 2 hours 17 minutes 18 seconds was 89 seconds faster than the previous world record set by Catherine Ndereba of Kenya in the same race last year.

"It's rounded off a brilliant year for me," Radcliffe said. "I was really just concentrating on my race, waiting until I got to 15, 16 miles until I ran a bit quicker."

In remarkable condition after training in the Pyrenees mountains of southern France, she won the London Marathon in her debut at that distance April 14 in 2:18:56.

"Ever since London, I knew I was capable of doing it," said Radcliffe, a two-time world cross-country champion. "This is what I've been working towards."

With temperatures in the 30s, Radcliffe ran the second half of the course a minute faster than she did the first, even though she was facing a stiff wind over the last few miles.

She broke away from Ndereba in the 17th mile. Ndereba, who won the race the last two years, finished second in 2:19.29.

Yoko Shibui of Japan finished third in 2:21:22--more than two minutes behind Radcliffe.

Khalid Khannouchi, born in Morocco but a U.S. citizen, won the men's race in 2:05:56. He was 18 seconds off the world record he set last April.

Daniel Njenga of Kenya finished second in 2:06:16. Japan's Toshinari Takaoka finished third.

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