Paula Radcliffe predicts sub 2-hour marathon in next decade

British athlete wouldn't be surprised to see a marathon run in under two hours during the next decade

paula radcliffe
Radcliffe qualified for London 2012 in Berlin this weekend Photo: Dethstar, via Flickr

paula radcliffe

Paula Radcliffe believes one of sport’s greatest barriers – the sub two-hour marathon – could be broken in the next decade.

The British athlete watched Kenya’s Patrick Makau race to a new two hour, three minute and 38 second world record in Berlin, shaving 21 seconds off Haile Gebrselassie’s previous best on the same flat and fast course.

And Radcliffe, who has run the fastest marathon time by a woman – although it is no longer considered a record because it was in a mixed race, believes the record could still tumble further.

“The way the men’s race is progressing and the times are moving forward, I think a sub two-hour within the next 10 years or so is a definite possibility,” she said.

“Patrick was very impressive and what was more impressive is how fresh he was at the end, he virtually did a lap of honour at race pace.

“I think they can get down to 2.01 and then we will see how it moves on from there but he has definite potential to run a minute quicker than he did in Berlin.”

Radcliffe admitted to being a “little disappointed” with her first marathon in two years, finishing third in the German capital, although she comfortably secured the Olympic qualifying standard.

However, the 37-year old’s time of two hours, 23 minutes and 46 seconds was still her quickest in four years and faster than her 2008 win in the New York marathon.

But Radcliffe was happy to see British team-mate Scott Overall achieve the men’s Olympic standard in his first-ever marathon.

Overall clocked 2:10.55, more than a minute inside the UKA standard, to finish and impressive fifth in a high-class field.

“Scott attacked the race and was really positive,” added Radcliffe. “He was confident about the qualifying time and he also placed well in the race. It bodes really well for next year.”

© Sportsbeat 2011

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