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Saturday, 30 December, 2000, 14:39 GMT
Radcliffe is Country queen
Paula Radcliffe
Paula Radcliffe finished 200m ahead of Derartu Tulu
Paula Radcliffe fought off the bitter conditions to win the Great North Cross-Country Run in Consett, Durham.

The Briton held off the challenge of Olympic 10,000m gold medallist Derartu Tulu to take the 6km race in more than eight inches of snow.

She finished over a minute ahead of her Ethiopian rival, who was severely hampered by the extreme conditions, in a time of 20 minutes 20 seconds.

Radcliffe, 27, revealed she was undaunted by the freezing weather.

"If you enjoy certain conditions then when you see those conditions are in place, it does psychologically give you a bit of a lift," she said.

It was an incredible run from Paula, from the start I couldn't stay with her - I just couldn't get a firm grip in the sno
  Derartu Tulu

"I love running in snow, I just see it and run."

The race also provided an opportunity for Radcliffe to beat Tulu on home soil.

She added: "I felt like I needed to get away from her soon because she (Tulu) can finish so fast.

"But there is more than one way to win a race, it doesn't have to end in the finishing straight."

Tulu, who had tipped Radcliffe to win the race because of the unfavourable conditions, admitted: "I expected her to win but not by such a long margin.

"It was an incredible run from Paula. From the start I couldn't stay with her - I just couldn't get a firm grip in the snow."

Portuguese success

Britain's Kathy Butler was third in 21mins 44secs while Olympic 1500m representative Helen Pattinson finished seventh in 22mins 10secs.

Radcliffe adds the Cross-Country victory to the gold medal she won in the world half-marathon in Mexico last month.

She also won the Great North Run in Newcastle in October.

In the men's Energizer CrossCup, Paulo Guerra, four times European cross country champion, was beaten by Paul Kosgei.

Guerra was runner-up, finishing 20 seconds behind the Kenyan who won the 9k race in 27mins 52secs.

Britain's Allen Graffin finished in fifth with a time of 28mins 24secs.

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See also:

29 Dec 00 |  Athletics
Radcliffe has point to prove
12 Nov 00 |  Athletics
Panicky Paula strikes gold
22 Oct 00 |  Athletics
Radcliffe is queen of the North
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