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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 10:31 GMT
Radcliffe just happy to be back
Great Britain's Paula Radcliffe in action
Watch the New York Marathon LIVE on BBC ONE.

Coverage starts at 2.25pm GMT on 7 November
Paula Radcliffe hopes to be competitive in the New York Marathon but says she is just happy to be racing again.

The 7 November event will be the 30-year-old's first race since she dropped out of both the marathon and the 10,000m at the Olympic Games in Athens.

"I wouldn't be going if I didn't think I could do myself justice," Radcliffe told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek.

"But underneath it all racing is what I enjoy doing, and I want to concentrate on doing what makes me happy."

Earlier this week, Radcliffe denied that she needed the race to help her get over her Olympic nightmare.

"I am not going to pick any race for redemption other than in four years' time at the Olympics," she said.

"I think I have accepted what has happened. Obviously I am not happy about it but it does not affect my mindset going into another race.

"It does not affect my confidence for how I run in the future.

"In terms of disappointment and devastation it was the worst point of my career but I have learned what lessons I can from it and put it behind me and moved on."

PAULA'S ROLL OF HONOUR
Honours:
World Championships: 1999 silver in 10,000m
London Marathon: 2002, 2003 champion
Chicago Marathon: 2002 champion
European Championships: 2002 gold in 10,000m
Commonwealth Games: 2002 gold in 5,000m
World Cross Country (8km): 2001, 2002 champion
European Cross Country: 1998, 2003 champion
World Half-marathon: 2000, 2001, 2003 champion

Radcliffe, who has been training in America, had planned to make a low-key return at the Run London 10k at the end of November but decided to change her plans after some encouraging training.

"Things started to come together quite well and in the middle of last week I came back from a run and said I'd quite like to run the race.

"It was that spontaneous. It had probably been forming in my mind for a couple of runs before that but I just came in from that run and it was a goer.

"Physically I'm fine - I can't compare the shape I'm in with previous marathons but I am in good enough shape to race."

Radcliffe will face a high-class field in New York, including American Olympic bronze medallist Deena Kastor.

Australia's world cross country champion Benita Johnson could also provide tough opposition at her debut over the distance.

But Radcliffe goes to New York in confident mood after a successful four-and-a-half week spell training in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The Loughborough-based athlete also insists she has put the physical and mental scars of the Athens Games behind her.

Radcliffe dropped out of the Athens marathon at the 23-mile mark as the humid conditions took their toll.

Five days later, the Briton failed to finish the 10,000m at the Olympic Stadium because of physical fatigue.

The Athens marathon was the first time Radcliffe had failed to win over the distance after victories in 2002 at London and Chicago and London again in 2003.

She set the world record over 26.2 miles at the 2003 London Marathon in a time of two hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Paula Radcliffe



SEE ALSO
Radcliffe to race in London
04 Oct 04 |  Athletics
Radcliffe reveals trauma
15 Sep 04 |  Athletics
Radcliffe eyes long break
28 Aug 04 |  Athletics
Fans share Paula's pain
27 Aug 04 |  Athletics
Paula is human after all
27 Aug 04 |  Athletics
Stricken Paula keeps on running
27 Aug 04 |  Athletics
Radcliffe 'devastated'
23 Aug 04 |  Olympics 2004
Paula's party falls flat
22 Aug 04 |  Athletics
Marathon agony for Radcliffe
22 Aug 04 |  Athletics


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