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BBC Five Live's Mike Costello
reports from Gateshead
 real 14k

Paula Radcliffe
"In the last half mile i thought i had lost it"
 real 14k

Sunday, 22 October, 2000, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
Radcliffe is queen of the North
Paula Radcliffe: Won the Great North Run in record time
From the front: Radcliffe leads the runners away
Paula Radcliffe set a new European half-marathon record when she cruised to victory in the Great North Run in Newcastle.

Radcliffe made up for her Olympic disappointment with a resounding victory in the women's race, finishing in a time of 67 minutes and seven seconds.

She was some 30 seconds ahead of the second finisher - the fastest marathon runner of all time, Tegla Loroupe.

Meanwhile, the men's race was won by 18-year-old Faustin Baha of Tanzania, who surprised the field with a mature run in 61 minutes 51 seconds, 37 seconds ahead of Britain's Andy Coleman, who ran the race of his life in 62mins 28secs.


I didn't even know it was the European best, but I knew it was Liz's record so obviously it was a tough record. It's great to beat that
  Paula Radcliffe

Radcliffe beat Liz McColgan's British half-marathon record of 67 minutes, 11 seconds and also smashed the 12-year-old course record of 68 minutes 49 seconds, set by the legendary Norwegian Grete Waitz.

Radcliffe, who finished third in her debut in the event last year, outlined her commitment when she ran her last mile in the fastest time of all - four minutes, 47 seconds.

She said: "When I came through the 12 miles I thought 'I can do this, it's only a mile to go', and then I thought 'no it's not, it's 1.1 miles to go'.

Brilliant

"So I really picked up and I thought I was going to lose it but the crowd were brilliant, I sprinted the last 100m faster than I ran the 10,000m!

The Bedford runner revealed she had been suffering from a cold during the week and was unsure how she would perform on the day.

"I was trying to convince myself that it was going to be alright, but luckily it was in my head not in my chest.

Radcliffe: No plans for full Marathon
Radcliffe: No plans for full Marathon
"But once I started, I felt OK and after five or six miles, I dropped Tegla. But I didn't really feel as if I picked it up at all so then I did pick up to make sure that I had well and truly dropped her."

In setting the British and European record, Radcliffe overhauled Liz McColgan's record, a landmark she was proud to overhaul.

She said: "I didn't even know it was the European best, but I knew it was Liz's record so obviously it was a tough record. It's great to beat that."

However, Radcliffe revealed she had no plans to give up the 10,000m in favour of the full marathon. She added: "I do plan to do a marathon, but not straight away.

"Just because I didn┐t get a medal in the 10,000m, it doesn┐t mean that I'm going to give it up."

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See also:

20 Oct 00 |  Athletics
Great North Run contenders
21 Oct 00 |  Athletics
Great North win for junior Stoker
18 Oct 00 |  Athletics
The Great Northern Rhyme
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