Marathon champ Paula Radcliffe’s hunt for Great Runners

Paula Radcliffe Launches Radcliffes Great Runners for Morrisons Great Newham London Run. Picture: To

Paula Radcliffe Launches Radcliffes Great Runners for Morrisons Great Newham London Run. Picture: Tom Shaw - Credit: Tom Shaw for The Great Run Company

Marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe MBE is warming up ahead of the Morrisons Great Newham London Run and is looking for six special ladies to join her team.

Paula Radcliffe Launches Radcliffes Great Runners for Morrisons Great Newham London Run. Picture: To

Paula Radcliffe Launches Radcliffes Great Runners for Morrisons Great Newham London Run. Picture: Tom Shaw - Credit: Tom Shaw for The Great Run Company

The former world champion said she is passionate about getting more women running and is looking to Greater London for half-a-dozen women to be take under her wing in preparation for the newly established 10km run.

“We are looking for six women to be part of Radcliffe’s Great Runners from the Greater London area who maybe don’t run at all right now,” the long-distance runner told the Recorder.

“I’m going to support and mentor them and give them some training tips and we will run the race together, then hopefully they will stay involved in running forever.”

It’s the sort of offer that any athletics enthusiast would jump at given mum-of-two Radcliffe still holds the women’s marathon world record with a time of 2hrs and 15mins and boasts three London Marathon wins to her name as well as one in New York.

Despite the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics, and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on its doorstep, Newham was named as the least active borough in England last year.

Radcliffe, 41, said: “It’s even more important that this run is coming here because I think it’s a true fact that everywhere all over the world we need to get people more active and events like this really key at doing that.

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“Because you have got to [get active] in a fun way and in a way that motivates people and inspires them.”

She added the Great Run was a “huge part” of the Olympic legacy, adding: “For me, when I talk about the Olympic legacy that’s the thing. People who have watched the games and who have been inspired to take part.

Paula Radcliffe Launches Radcliffes Great Runners for Morrisons Great Newham London Run. Picture: To

Paula Radcliffe Launches Radcliffes Great Runners for Morrisons Great Newham London Run. Picture: Tom Shaw - Credit: Tom Shaw for The Great Run Company

“It’s really easy to build towards [a 10km] and have a really fun and enjoyable experience. It’s about getting people active and enjoying running and sport.”

The message is one that chimes with the Recorder’s own Get Active campaign, launched at the start of this year, that aims inform residents about sports clubs and activities happening in the borough.

“I think that’s very good,” she said of the campaign. “Anything that makes people think about it and gets people more active is a good thing. We are designed to be physically active every day and be moving and I think that everybody needs to do that.”

If you’re planning on taking part in the Morrisons Great Newham London Run on Sunday, July 19, but finding it hard to start training, Radcliffe has some advice.

Firstly, take heart. “If we you aren’t running at all now you have got plenty of time to get ready,” the elite runner said.

“My tip would be to get together with a group of friends and build up your training gradually. Make sure you have got the right pair of running shoes for you and just go out and enjoy it.”

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be one of Radcliffe’s Great Runners, email your details with a maximum 100 word summary to sixfornewham@greatrun.org by midday on Friday, April 24.

Visit greatrun.org/great-newham-london-run for more information or to book your place.

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