London Marathon is to be Paula Radcliffe’s last

Paula Radcliffe. Picture: PA
Paula Radcliffe. Picture: PA
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PAULA RADCLIFFE will run her last-ever marathon in London in April, the race organisers have announced.

The world record holder, who last competed over 26.2 miles in Berlin in September 2011, will bring the curtain down on a glorious marathon career at the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26 April.

The 41-year-old is a three-time winner of the London Marathon, but last took part in the race nine years ago.

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Race director Hugh Brasher said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Paula has chosen London for her final marathon and we know the British crowds will be out in force on 26 April to celebrate her extraordinary career.”

Radcliffe, who set her world record of two hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds on the streets of London in 2003, was not named among the elite athlete entries and will announce her plans for the race on 30 January.

Defending champion Edna Kiplagat, the two-time world champion, will take on fellow Kenyan Florence Kiplagat, whom she beat by just three seconds in last year’s race.

Two more Kenyans, Priscah Jeptoo and Mary Keitany, both former London Marathon champions, are also in the field.

Radcliffe’s three London Marathon victories came in 2002, on her debut over the distance, as well as in 2003 and 2005.

She has also won the New York Marathon three times, most recently in 2008.

Radcliffe, who was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2002, won World Championship gold in 2005, a year after her hopes of Olympic glory in Athens were derailed by illness and injury.