22 Sep

Paula Loses Iconic Record

Paula Radcliffe

A row is brewing in road running among the world's senior bodies in the sport, which centres around the demotion of Paula Radcliffe's iconic marathon run of 2:15:25 at the 2003 London Marathon.

It started at the 2011 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, where the IAAF Congress passed a motion to change the standard by which female athletes achieve world record performances in road races.

Under the new rules, only times achieved in all-women competitions will be acknowledged for world record purposes, and performances achieved in mixed conditions would now be referred to only as "world best times".

The new criterion means that Radcliffe's 2003 mark of 2:15:25 is no longer the world record but now a world best, and that her 2005 London time of 2:17:42 is the world record. In the earlier race, she was paced by two male runners, whereas two years later she ran alongside fellow female competitors only.

The World Marathon Majors (WMM), which consists of the race directors from London, New York, Boston, Berlin and Chicago and the Association of International Marathons (AIMS) have reacted with anger. Whilst the IAAF's move brings the marathon into line with track running events, the WMM and AIMS believe that it does not represent what is required by the sport of road running.

In a joint statement, they say that they will seek discussions with the IAAF stressing that "the vast majority of women's road races throughout the World are held in mixed conditions" and that the "current situation where the fastest time is not now recognised as a record is confusing and unfair and does not respect the history of our sport."


  1. Garryb said...

    I think this is a load of nonsense, it's a World Record...... I don't care if the pacers were male or female, she still had to put the work in to get the time.
  2. Anne Williamson said...

    This is so ridiculous the pace makers didn't run the race for her or give her a co carry she ran every inch of the race on her own feet so why is this record being taken off her. The record should still stand !
  3. Neil Gow said...

    Setting the new world record at over two minutes slower than the old one is like saying the Eiffel Tower is still the world's tallest building. The gender of the pacemaker seems to me to be irrelevant. What if in an all male race they had faster than average (male) pacemaker runners and some one broke the world record. Would that record also have to be scrapped as well since it was not fair on the runners who had slower pacemaker runners in previous races?