Paula Radcliffe

Paula Radcliffe

Paula Radcliffe is one of the most instantly recognisable marathon runners of all time. She is regarded as one of the greatest distance runners of her generation. Paula’s perseverance has been rewarded with 5,000m Commonwealth, 10,000m European and world cross country titles – as well as the marathon world record. She has overcome injury, asthma and others’ doubts, and been crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year. The three-time London and New York Marathon champion has displayed her inspiring drive and determination to the world and is now using her platform to motivate audiences as an after-dinner speaker. The former marathon, half marathon and cross country champion is able to relate her story to both corporate and sporting organisations in order to make a huge impact on everyone she addresses.

Paula Radcliffe: Beginnings

Taking inspiration from her father who regularly ran marathons, Paula Radcliffe began running at the age of seven despite the fact that she suffered from asthma and anaemia. She became a member of Bedford & County Athletics Club. Eventually participated in her first race at a national level in 1986. She showed significant improvements as she continued to train. Going on to win the English Schools 1500 metres title.

Title wins

Her first notable victory came when she won the World Cross Country Championships in 2001. She defended her title once more in 2002 before deciding to take on the London Marathon. At her first 26 mile victory, Paula managed to achieve the second quickest time in women’s marathon history before setting an international record at the Chicago Marathon in 2002. Her performances in the following year did not fail to impress as she went onto break her own record and also won the 2004 New York City Marathon. Other notable achievements of Radcliffe’s career include winning a further three marathons. Being appointed MBE. Releasing her own autobiography ‘Paula My story So Far.’   Then winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Rising £64,000 for both Asthma UK and the British Olympic Association on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire.’

More acclaim

In 2007, Paula was again nominated for the Sports Personality Award, she managed to win the Laureus World Comeback of the Year following on from her return from childbirth and also secured Londoner of the Year award despite being from Bedford.


Her desirable ‘Olympic mindset’, drive and mental resilience have led her to be known as the Master of the Marathon and one of the most empowering sportswomen in the world. Her positive, can-do attitude leaves a lasting impact on any variety of audiences she addresses from corporate, school and sports organisations.

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