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London Marathon 2003

This page has been re-done to provide the race report as it happened … from start to finish …

The London Marathon 2003 starts with Paula Radcliffe, as well as the group of male pacesetters
The conditions are pretty decent.

After an opening 5:10 mile it is Paula and 2 pacestters up front, 20m clear.

The 2nd mile is 5:08 with the 3rd mile a staggering 4:57 .. OK Paula point taken … BUT this is awesome … can she maintain such a staggering pace.

At 5 miles – 25:32 – Radcliffe is on 2:14 pace … has she gone too fast ??? … She is clad in red and white with gloves, there may be a small chill in the air, however the sun is shining.

Just after 5 miles [8K]. Deena Drossin of America has worked to close the gap. The former WR holder, Catherine Ndereba leaves the chasing women’s pack and goes solo in her chase of tracking down Radcliffe and Drossin… however she is presently in 5th place.

6 miles – 31:15 …

As they round the Cutty Sark, Drossin is using 2 pacesetter helpers to close the gap on Radcliffe… This is a bold move and a New US record is under threat for the 1st time since 1985.

Men 1st mile 4:52 : Lee Bong Ju is following the pacesetters and is 1st male through the checkpoint.

Radcliffes’ time through 8mile is 41:17 … her 10K clocking was 32:01 …

This commentator was under the impression that the weather was going to be adverse, however we are watching women’s running like it has never been seen before. At one occasion Radcliffes gap was 20 seconds, however Drossin has cut this down to 10 seconds. We knew that the Women’s Marathon was in for a transition, however we never thought it would be of such an awesome make-over.

The athlete chasing Radcliffe is not Drossin but Romania’s Constantina Dita and Susan Chepkememi of Kenya following her… So, where is Drossin ?

Paula RadcliffeRadcliffe passed through 9miles in 46:35 … there is no let-off in her tempo .. the only indication that she is under slight pressure is the swing of her left hand on her pull-back .. as Paula tires, her hands tend to come further and further away from her body .. there is no sign of this and we will witness something great here.

Men 2nd mile 4:53 … this will be a tactical race

At 10 miles, Radcliffe is 40 seconds clear of the Rumanian … 51:48

Earlier we had thought it was Dita was Drossin, we had seen Ndereba. The Kenyan is the most experienced at running sub 2:20, and she is no doubt running at 2:17 pace at present, which puts her not near Radcliffe, but overall she will be there if Radcliffe falters.. Catherine the Great, certainly looks good, with gloves and headgear still on.

11 miles – 56:58 [5:10 mile] … 2min 45 sec quicker for Radcliffe than last year’s pace when she ran 2:18

12 miles- 62:14 – Paula is still flying and for the first time there is a slight bob in her head… she leads by 57 secs, however the nodding is somewhat early. She is working now .. and she is only approaching the 21K … her last 10K will be a very painful experience.. however Radcliffe is not short in the ‘gutsy’ department.

All the attention is on Radcliffe and rightly so … this is total history in the making …

Halfway – 68:02 – past London’s Tower Bridge … Drossin in 5th is 66:58 through 20K ..on target for a US Record. 2mins faster than Chicago pace

5 miles 23:50 for the Men they have picked up considerably.

The tempo and cadence for the women, has never been witnessed before .. The top 10 are running faster than any women have ever run in the marathon before … this is awesome .. Ndereba is 2 minutes behind at halfway .. which is maybe a 2:18 pace.

The men have been running splits consistently below 4:50 now … 4:53 .. 4:35 .. 4:47 .. 4:43 .. 4:54 to go through 10k in 29:47 .

7m – 33:36 – The men’s pack is ‘massive’ … all the favourites are present …

Drossin is aiming for Joan Benoit’s long-standing record and if her aim was to run negative splits, picking up over the 2nd half, she will have a few runners to track down.. However, feedback is that Dita has dropped out and Drossin is now closing on the 3rd placed runner Adrianna Hernandez..

Radcliffe – working her pacesetters over16m – 1:23.01 … for a short moment the one pacesetter provided dropped off the pace and now Radcliffe moves next to both of them … ARE YOU TIRED GUYS Paula leads by 2:20, and has dropped one of the pacemakers … so what was all the controversy ???

News is fed through that ex-World star, Zola Budd has passed Cutty Sark her aim is 2:40

Ndereba has moved into 2nd place, she is running a tacitcally sound race, to beat the others though … whether or not Radcliffe cracks up only time will tell .. However, when Radcliffe tires she works harder and this writer won’t be surprised if she destroys the pacesetter over the final miles…

The men pass through 9m in 43:15 … For South African supporters Ian Syster and Hendrik Ramaala are prominent..

We know Ndereba has moved into 2nd place, however it is not clear whether Dita has dropped out, so Drossin is most likely in 5th place still.

18m – 1:33:19 – Radcliffe on target for sub 2:16 … This athlete is incredible .. we witnessed it last year .. she is hurting slightly, however the more she hurts the harder she works .. in the latter stages the arms go ragged however the legs maintain that tempo which is what is needed.. Another terrible looking world-beater was Zatopek .. and boy did he look terrible when pouring it on .. Racliffe is 1:30 up on her Chicago time …

Men 10m – 48:10 – The men are on 2:06:38 pace … far quicker than I anticipated … tear my tickets up …

Red Adair … is this the colour of Nike this year ???

The men’s race is represented by the Far East upfront .. with the African contingent making up the next blanket by running shoulder to shoulder … Kenya .. South Africa .. Morrocco .. Ethiopia … as they approach the halfway ..

The first wheel-chair finishes in 1:32:05 .. a new course record .. Joel Jeannot of France smashing the previous record .. will we witness Paula Radcliffe doing the same next ..

The men pass through 20K in 60:02 … with a pack of more than 20 still compact

This annoys me … it looks as though the pacemaker for the men noticed he was below target at 21K and all of a sudden the men are thrown into single file … DAMN .. his job is to provide a constant pace not a ping pong session .. [Yes, one of my pet hates is the poor standard of pacesetting witnessed continually on track and road]

21m – 1:48:44 – Radcliffe on target on pace … and buying the next round in the local at this pace .. for she is on target for a simply humungus payday … FORGET ME NOT bank details to follow

Ndereba is on target for a PB if she is able to maintain .. which a year ago would have been a WR [World Record]

Drossin has moved into 3rd place…

Mouzzizz slides to the front .. and one wonders whether Tergat will allow him to go .. then all of a sudden he slows the pace … YES this will become tactical … is my 2:08 finish ON … no ways .. let me tape my ticket back together …

Radcliffe is now running with a slight breeze at her back .. the elements are playing their part … she has now completed 2Hrs of running and the WR is so so ON and the followers are on for something great as well … YES .. Drossin may be on target for a sub2:20 and is within striking distance of the Kenyan.

Radcliffe is gritting her teeth, she is now working like no tomorrow .. she wants to put this record out of target for a few years to come ..

The men have slowed to running 5minute miles .. what has happened where are the delegated pacesetters … or did they drop out at 21K ??? Tactical it is …

24m – 2:04:06 – a 5:03 mile … come on Paula take the male pacesetter out … she is hurting but she is raising her game …

To be honest … Radcliffe looks better than last year … no doubt about that … she is well into the last 2K as she goes into Parliament Square.

2:13 on the clock she is digging deeper .. this is magnificent … she is flying as she picks up her cadence…

All the attention is on Radcliffe and rightly so … this is total history in the making …

In to the final straight 2:15 on the clock … she is pumping …


The young Brit, in only her 3rd marathon has obliterated her own record by almost 2 minutes .. With Radcliffe holding the previous mark at 2:17:18 , a time she set in Chicago 2002 in her 2nd attempt..

Catherine Ndereba slowed to break 2:20, however she is a long way back … 2:19:54

Deena Drossin beats the American record with 2:21.15

The men pass through 21m – 1:42 … with a pack of 8 .. Tergat .. Syster and Ramaala of South Africa.. Baldini of Italy .. Moussizz .. Abera of Ethiopia .. Bong Ju of Korea

The men are racing now … Mouzzizz is testing the athletes .. as is his like … he surges to the fore and is covered immediately by Abera …

There are 6 in strong contention with 3 miles to go .. Pulled along by Mouzzizz

The miles are not quick .. a 4:56 .. but the surges are obviously of a different force … Baldini, 2nd in ’97 goes to the front .. the slow mile has allowed 7 to be in the group, with the Korean now in the pack.

Baldini grabs water and accelerates opening a 2m gap, which the others will need to work to cover … always an elite athletes tactic .. water point surges..

Can Tergat finally break his marathon duck, as the athletes move into 2 Hours of running ?? … Mouzzizz goes back to the front, trying to work up the pace..

Abera takes the 2003 title with a sprintWe into the 25mile – 2:02:04 – the last mile and they still tucked together . The Korean is gone

Baldini to the front again .. it is a constant pace but not a surge .. they in Parliament Square and there is nothing between them .. you can throw a blanket over them ..

Mouzziz switches to the outside and goes to the front … Tergat is stalking and Abera is still there..

Abera 1st 2:07:56 .. Baldini 2nd … 2:07:57 .. 5 men sprinted towards the finish and it was somewhat disaapointing to see Tergat disappear out the top 3 with less than 40m to go. Baldini gave his all, and was outsprinted for the 2nd time to finish in the same time as 1997, when Pinto took the honours after a sprint finish.

Radcliffe Splits :

1 – 5.10 (5:10 )
2 – 5.08 ( 10:18 )
3 – 4.57 ( 15:15 )
4 – 5.07 ( 20:22 )
5 – 5.10 ( 25:32 )
6 – 5.22 ( 30:54 )
7 – 5.12 ( 36:06 )
8 – 5.11 ( 41: 17 )
9 – 5.18 ( 46: 35 )
10 – 5.13 ( 51:48 )
11 – 5.10 ( 56:48 )
12 – 5.16 ( 1:02:14 )
13 – 5.16 ( 1:07: 38 )
14 – 5.08 ( 1:12:38 )
15 – 5.10 ( 1:17:48 )
16 – 5.13 ( 1:23:01 )
17 – 5.07 ( 1:28:08 )
18 – 5.11 ( 1:33:19 )
19 – 5.07 ( 1:38:26 )
20 – 5.07 ( 1:43:44 )
21 – 5.11 ( 1:48:44 )
22 – 5.06 ( 1 :53:50 )
23 – 5.13 ( 1:59:03 )
24 – 5.03 ( 2:04:07 )
25 – 5.08 ) 2:09:14 )

broke the world best for 20 miles with 1:43:33, and the 30 k mark with 1:36:36

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