Radcliffe seeks to finish year on high note in NY

NEW YORK: Paula Radcliffe, holder of the marathon world record since 2003, will compete in Sunday's New York Marathon as she tries to end the year on a high note after a season of injury frustrations.

Radcliffe won here in 2004, 2007 and 2008 and is trying to achieve something that hasn't been done in 27 years when Grete Waitz captured her fourth New York Marathon title.

"On a good day with good weather, I should be able to push the course record down to 2:20 or lower," said Radcliffe, who owns the women's marathon record of two hours, 15 minutes, 25 seconds.

"I have a good understanding of the course and I feel I should be able to run faster on it. I feel my times have been average and I would like to go faster."

The 35-year-old Radcliffe has had a difficult year, undergoing bunion surgery on her foot which caused her to miss the London Marathon.

Radcliffe did not run competitively for almost 10 months because of an assortment of injuries and the surgery. She has also had pelvic problems.

But she arrives in New York in a good frame of mind because she is healthy and it is a place where she has had success in the past.

"The pull of New York was always strong and the pull of coming back for a fourth victory was also strong," Radcliffe said. "I am really excited to be returning to New York this year for the marathon.

"New York holds so many inspiring and happy memories for me. I want to continue adding memories for many years to come."

The race also features, two-time Olympic 10,000m champion Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia, Yuri Kano of Japan, Christelle Daunay of France and the reigning Boston Marathon champion Salina Kosgei of Kenya.

The 37-year-old Tulu won Olympic 10,000m gold in 1992 and 2000, and took bronze at the 2004 Athens Games.

She also captured World Championship gold at 10,000m in 2001 - the same year she finished third in the London Marathon.

The men's side includes four-time Boston Marathon winner Robert Cheruiyot.

Cheruiyot, 31, has not run in New York since a fourth-place showing in 2005. The 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Boston Marathon champion set a personal best in setting Boston's course record of 2hrs 7mins 14secs.

Cheruiyot dropped out in Boston this year after 35 km due to back pain but was fifth in the World Championships marathon at Berlin in August.