Paul Radcliffe Wins New York Marathon

:slight_smile: NEW YORK, Nov 7 2004: Paula Radcliffe, the British runner whose for Athens Olympic gold ended in tears, won the New York Marathon, outstaying Kenya’s Susan Chepkemei in the tightest women’s race in the event’s history.
Radcliffe won in an official time of 2 hrs, 23 mins, 10 secs with Chepkemei four seconds behind.
Radcliffe said it was nice to have ended the season on a high note after the disaster in Athens where she failed to finish both the Marathon and the 10,000 metres.
Several British newspapers labelled her a choker, one suggesting that there was a new term for the word ‘quit’ which was ‘to do a Radcliffe’.
It's a good way to end the year,'' said Radcliffe. I am ready for a good rest now though!’’ she added.
South Africa’s Hendrik Ramaala won the men’s title in an official time of 2hr 9min 28sec, joining 1992 champion Willie Mtolo as the only South Africans to capture the crown here.
Like Radcliffe, Ramaala found redemption after Athens heartbreak. Ramaala, 32, dropped out of the Olympic marathon with a groin injury only to recover and win a 16km event three weeks later in Amsterdam.
American Meb Keflezighi, who was born in Eritrea but became a United States citizen in 1998, was second in 2:09:53 with Kenyan Timothy Cherigat third in 2:10:00 and Democratic Republic of Congo’s Patrick Tambwe fourth in 2:10:11.
It was the worst Kenyan men’s showing here since Joseph Kamau settled for third in 1996.
The difficult Big Apple course offered Radcliffe no true chance to break her world-best mark of 2:15:25, which came April 13, 2003, at the London Marathon.
The previous closest women’s finish in New York Marathon history came in 1990 when Wanda Panfil won in 2:30:45, defeating Kim Jones by five seconds.
Russia’s Lyubov Denisova was third in 2:25:18 and Kenya’s Margaret Okayo, the 2001 and 2003 winner here, was fourth in 2:26:31.
After Dutch standout Lornah Kiplagat fell back just beyond the 20-mile marek, Radcliffe and Chepkemei battled only each other to the finish line, struggling together through Central Park and the final steps.
Twice Radcliffe edged ahead a stride only to have Chepkemei answer, but her final surge was enough for the victory.
Radcliffe, who turns 31 next month, spent more than a month training in Flagstaff, Arizona, before announcing last week she would make her fifth career marathon start here.
Her first three marathons produced three of the four fastest marathons ever clocked and a trio of triumphs, including world bests in 2002 at Chicago and last year at London in a title defence.
Chepkemei, 29, is from the same West Pokot tribe that produced two-time New York Marathon champion Tegla Loroupe. Chepkemei was second here in 2001 and seventh a year ago. Her marathon personal best was 2:23:12 last year at London.
American Saul Mendoza won the men’s wheelchair title in 1:33:16. Switzerland’s Edith Hunkeler won the women’s wheelchair crown in 1:53:27.