Author Topic: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?  (Read 11163 times)

Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« on: April 24, 2015, 08:58:31 am »
Program on R5 last night on Paula Radcliffe, it was pretty good. They had folk on incl Seb Coe saying how she's the greatest womens distance runner in history, seemingly based on her record breaking London marathon run in 2002, citing how the mens records been broken many times, but Paula put the womens out of sight.  Also that she'd brought womens athletics forward by a quantum leap, which I didnt notice.
Cant think she's the greatest in history but I wouldnt know who is/was. No olympic medals at 3 attempts.   I've always been a fan of hers, and enjoy hearing her speak, but the program seemed a bit of a love-in just before the London marathon

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2015, 09:06:36 am »
I think she's by far the greatest female distance runner. Granted, she has been very unlucky with the Olympics. She was brave to start Athens with a bad stomach bug, it happens, and we would all have done it I'm sure after 4 years of focus. Surely the most devastating day ever for her. She was the best in the world that day, it just went horribly wrong. That's marathon running. And she was injured and was never in a position to win in 2008.

Noone has even got close to Paula's fastest marathon times, she took female marathon running to a whole new level. Seems a long way off being broken. I hope she has a great run on Sunday, and is able to enjoy it. I'm sure she'll get amazing support. I get emotional just thinking about that run in 2002!

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2015, 09:49:23 am »
I don't trust the doctors she keeps using. It would be interesting to know her current and past blood values, now she will no longer be racing.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2015, 10:37:52 am »
LWAB's comments are interesting - and could apply to many.  But in any case, I don't think Paula could be called the  greatest unless you speak specifically of marathon running.  Have a look at Tirunesh Dibaba's palmares:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirunesh_Dibaba

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2015, 03:04:44 pm »
Although I'm a fan, I hadnt realised how her records have stood for so long.  If the equivalent had happened in cycling I'd immediately assume PEDs were involved somewhere along the lines.
But then, she's always been a vocal and outspoken critic of drug users, I remember her anti-EPO banner.

I'll be cheering her on on Sunday.

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2015, 06:31:46 pm »
Of course cyclists have never denounced doping while doing so themselves.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2015, 06:31:12 pm »
LWAB's comments are interesting - and could apply to many.  But in any case, I don't think Paula could be called the  greatest unless you speak specifically of marathon running.  Have a look at Tirunesh Dibaba's palmares:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirunesh_Dibaba
LWAB and the other sceptics can look at Paula's frozen blood samples for years to come.

Yes, she's clearly the greatest marathon runner (of either gender IMHO).

Its hard to compare between distances, but its pretty easy to double up across 5k & 10k - marathon runners dont have another event to easily diversify into. Meanwhile her WR is SOOOO far out of the park, noone at the shorter distances has come close to such a performance.

And if marathon running isnt the pinnacle of distance running, I don't know what is!
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2015, 06:34:26 pm »
Bob Beaman is a sporting great (For just one leap into a sand-pit) and Paula Radcliffe, for nothing more than being the current women's world record holder in the marathon with her time of 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds, is a great.

She took big chunks out of the World record, to the point where she could have credibly run in the men's event.

Mo Farah takes 2:08:20 to get round.

Olympics are dependent on luck and timing as much as talent.  Athletes tend to have 2 great Olympics in them. 
If you a lucky then you will start to peak at your first Olympics and won't have faded too much four years later.   If you are unlucky with timing, or illness, then your peaks may forever be out of step with the Games.

Anyway, she's a great.  13 years and counting.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2015, 06:41:29 pm »
Of course cyclists have never denounced doping while doing so themselves.

I'm rather suspicious of her holding three minutes over the best Kenyans who, themselves, are widely suspected of doping.  I'd love to give Paula the benefit of the doubt but, as the old saying goes, if it seems too good to be true..

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2015, 06:53:15 pm »
Of course cyclists have never denounced doping while doing so themselves.

I'm rather suspicious of her holding three minutes over the best Kenyans who, themselves, are widely suspected of doping.  I'd love to give Paula the benefit of the doubt but, as the old saying goes, if it seems too good to be true..
So how would you define a "Sporting Great"? Someone who is the best, but not by some Tewdric-defined margin that is "too good to be true" ?!?

(this could get like code-breaking - if you have a massive advantage over the enemy,  be careful not to rub their nose in it :P )
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2015, 11:11:30 pm »
Bob Beaman cheated because he chose not to compete at sea level.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2015, 11:34:48 pm »
Of course cyclists have never denounced doping while doing so themselves.

I'm rather suspicious of her holding three minutes over the best Kenyans who, themselves, are widely suspected of doping.  I'd love to give Paula the benefit of the doubt but, as the old saying goes, if it seems too good to be true..
So how would you define a "Sporting Great"? Someone who is the best, but not by some Tewdric-defined margin that is "too good to be true" ?!?

(this could get like code-breaking - if you have a massive advantage over the enemy,  be careful not to rub their nose in it :P )

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2015, 09:16:59 am »
@ mattc

"it's pretty easy to double up at 5000 and 10000."  That's some statement.  There will usually be heats in the 5000 and a double champion will usually have run at least 3 races in a week or so.  Dibaba has done this LOADS of times.  Paula has won the OCCASIONAL race throughout her career.  She has run so hard that she often breaks.  She is a great athlete but I don't think she is the greatest.  Not that it really matters.

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2015, 06:26:23 pm »
One marathon is 40k!!!

OK, I know what you mean: easy isn't really the right word! What I am sayingnis that the best 5k runner in a given week in history is very often at least Top3 in the 10k. Marathon runners don't tend to get a fallback event (and they would be pretty fu ... fatigued after racing 40km to compete again that week).

And no, it really doesn't matter :-)
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2015, 06:33:57 pm »
Cheers, matt!  Just been to watch my local cricket team beat another local team - the professional getting 89 (no) of the 126 required.  Beer and warm nurses, sunshine and moonshine - a great day.  And Paula got round in a time that I almost managed myself thirty odd years ago.  Well done her!  She is certainly a great (I am not)!

Peter

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2015, 07:57:22 pm »
Several factors come into play here.
1.  She's a Brit.
2.  She's done well.
3.  She's good in front of a camera
4.  She has the public sympathy vote.
5.  The BBC has lost a lot of live sport, but it's retained the London Marathon and the like.
= She ticks all the right boxes so the Beeb (and others) are going to promote her whenever possible.

Is she a great? People will argue their own favourite but in this obese, car dependant society we live in, if it encourages people off their bums and into the fresh air I'm happy to call her a great.

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2015, 09:02:05 pm »
Several factors come into play here.
1.  She's a Brit.
2.  She's done well.
3.  She's good in front of a camera
4.  She has the public sympathy vote.
5.  The BBC has lost a lot of live sport, but it's retained the London Marathon and the like.
= She ticks all the right boxes so the Beeb (and others) are going to promote her whenever possible.

Is she a great? People will argue their own favourite but in this obese, car dependant society we live in, if it encourages people off their bums and into the fresh air I'm happy to call her a great.

Agree with all of this. Not the greatest of all time but yep, a great.  Bit of a shadow over her achievements as she put records so far out of sight over other dopers, but might be because Im so sceptical having followed cycling in the last X years.

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #17 on: April 28, 2015, 07:16:33 am »
Regret I too fall into the sceptics camp. She does seem a lovely person but any sporting record based on a performance leap, especially at that point in doping history, has to be considered questionable.
Whenever a sporting  achievement is called incredible by other sportspeople, it is because it is indeed incredible.
There is of corse the possibility she ran clean and beat all those dopers running on juice at the time. In which case she becomes another casualty of folk like Armstrong.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2015, 09:54:26 am »
I'm also sceptic but think she was possibly running on extra of her own juice, not EPO.
Unbelievable performances are often unbelievable.  She was also competing against, and beating, known doped Kenyans.
Similar story with Seb Coe.  Blood doping was not illegal when he was running - see Moser's hour record and the US track cycling team at the 84 Olympics.

Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2015, 09:57:46 am »
Regret I too fall into the sceptics camp. She does seem a lovely person but any sporting record based on a performance leap, especially at that point in doping history, has to be considered questionable.
Whenever a sporting  achievement is called incredible by other sportspeople, it is because it is indeed incredible.
There is of corse the possibility she ran clean and beat all those dopers running on juice at the time. In which case she becomes another casualty of folk like Armstrong.
She didn't have a sudden leap, she had a gradual improvement. 2 18, 2 17, 2 15  over a period of two years.

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2015, 05:17:52 pm »
Agree with all of this. Not the greatest of all time but yep, a great. 

I don't think there can be a greatest of all time in any sport, just greats of their time and greats for all time.

Ever seen a replay of Olga Korbut's legendary floor routine lately?  It looks like a school kid doing roly-polys by today's standards but she's clearly a "great".

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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2015, 05:28:14 pm »
Agree with all of this. Not the greatest of all time but yep, a great. 

I don't think there can be a greatest of all time in any sport, just greats of their time and greats for all time.

Ever seen a replay of Olga Korbut's legendary floor routine lately?  It looks like a school kid doing roly-polys by today's standards but she's clearly a "great".


This.  Training techniques, understanding of sports psychology, physiology and er. science ( ;)) have come on leaps and bounds.  But I bet there were some great runners in Ancient Bablylon.  We have a long history but we love using the phrase 'all time great' without considering people who competed outside of the last century at the most - usually much less.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #23 on: April 29, 2015, 05:31:24 pm »
Agree with all of this. Not the greatest of all time but yep, a great. 

I don't think there can be a greatest of all time in any sport, just greats of their time and greats for all time.

I can't remember who said it, but when discussing who was the World's Greatest Batsman, the reply was "you can't separate the top six". That is probably true of most sports at any given moment, but I think there would be few people who would argue that Don Bradman wasn't the greatest batsman of all time, even though Graham Gooch scored more runs.

I suspect that there is rarely, at any specific moment, one competitor in his/her field who is clearly the best in the world.
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Re: Paula Radcliffe - A Great ?
« Reply #24 on: April 29, 2015, 05:37:31 pm »
In a rare moment of talking sense Bernie Ecclestone once said that there could be a million Michael Schumachers in rural China but as long as they're riding bicycles rather than driving racing cars we'll never know.
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