What an awesome run by Paula Radcliffe on Sunday. After standing at the finish line of the London Marathon earlier this year and watching five hours of what seemed endless pain and suffering, including some (literally) staggeringly emotional scenes as runners collapsed yards from the finish, I'd pretty much vowed never to watch another big race again. But with Sunday's New York Marathon, the benefit of distance and the aid of television to keep an emotional check on me, I relented. I'm sort of glad that I did.
There were real tears in my eyes as I watched Paula near the finish. Never will I know how it feels to lead an entire race and finish in 2:23, let alone 3:23 I imagine, but I'd like to think I knew all about the grit she showed as she dropped the hammer and went for the finish on tired legs. Watching Paula surge past Gete Wami brought feelings of enormous emotion, not to say relief. Bring it on Beijing, we have a champion ready and waiting.
The oddest thing was that it turns out that even when you watch a marathon on the small screen, the last 800 yards is definitely much closer to a mile and a half. It's just amazing how long it seems to take to get through that last part of the race - running or watching- and the tension in New York was incredible.