Paula Radcliffe finishes third in her long-awaited comeback.
Written by: David Monti
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.
Mo Farah and Jo Pavey clinched the British 10 kilometer road running titles today at the Bupa London 10,000, while Paula Radcliffe struggled to a third place finish in her first race after an 18 month layoff.
Farah, representing the Newham and Essex Beagles club, got an easy 22-second victory over Solomon Mehretab (Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets), clocking 29:15, well off of the 27:44 course record he had run last year. Andrew Lemoncello (Fife AC) finished third in 29:38.
“I just decided to see what happened today because I’m a bit jetlagged,” said Farah, who had been training in Kenya. “My aim was just to get the win. The time was really slow but I just wanted to put in a good performance. I felt alright but my legs were a bit heavy.”
Pavey led the race from the start, and was never seriously challenged. She clocked 32:22, 26 seconds up on runner up Gemma Steel, who had caught Radcliffe in the sixth kilometer to move into second place.
“I loved it out there; it’s such a fantastic event,” said Pavey, who will compete next in the NYRR Mini 10K in New York City on June 11. “I would have liked a quicker time but my legs weren’t quite ready after the marathon. It was a solid enough run, though, and it was nice just to get back out there and get on with it.”
Radcliffe, who has not raced since finishing fourth at the 2009 ING New York City Marathon, struggled from the starter’s gun to establish a rhythm. The 37 year-old marathon world record holder, who gave birth to her second child last September, gritted her teeth to finish in 33:17.
“It was a bit of a disaster for me,” said Radcliffe who has recently recovered from bouts of bronchitis and laryngitis. “I didn’t see Jo after four kilometers. I just couldn’t stay with her and from that point it was just terrible for me. I just wanted it to be so much better.”
Radcliffe said she was hampered by a lower back problem which flared up four weeks ago. “It’s very frustrating,” she continued. “I had some problems with my back coming in to the race, but I thought it was going to be alright. I wanted to come back and at least do myself justice but I didn’t. It was rubbish and I’m embarrassed.”
Radcliffe said she will now seek treatment on her back before deciding whether and where to run an autumn marathon as she seeks an Olympic Games qualifying performance. Today’s race in London used the same 10 km loop which will be utilized for the 2012 Olympic Marathon.