The allure of Kenya’s high altitude training heaven of Iten too inviting to resist, Britain’s world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe has confirmed she will be travelling to Kenya’s famed highlands to prepare for next year’s home Olympics in London.
According to the Athletics Weekly website, Radcliffe will be in Iten next month along with top Team Great Britain distance runners, including former world junior 1,500 metres champion Stephanie Twell who, like Radcliffe, is recovering from injury.
The team has been booked at the High Altitude Training Centre (HATC).
Camp hosted Team GB
The HATC, that is run by former world cross country and half marathon champion and world record holder Lornah Kiplagat and her husband Pieter Langerhorst, has previously played host to Team Great Britain’s distance runners including world 5,000m champion Mo Farah and other top African stars, among them former world and Olympic champions Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (South Africa) and Derartu Tulu (Ethiopia).
Radcliffe had an operation on her left foot bone and after two weeks’ recovery, she will be coming to Kenya to start her training next month before taking a break and probably returning to Iten next January before relocating to Britain’s pre-Olympics training base in Alberqueque, New Mexico, USA.
“The bone is in my left foot,” Radcliffe, 37, is quoted as saying by the website. “And when I’m running it gets in the ligaments. It doesn’t bother me in racing, but it bothers me afterwards and in training.
“And it’s grown this year. But it’s not attached (to the bones in the foot) so is not much of a problem to take out.”
Radcliffe (2:23.46) finished third behind Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat and German Irina Mikitenko in the Berlin Marathon just over a week ago, garnering the time required by Great Britain for the Olympics.
Interestingly, Radcliffe’s Iten base is just less than two kilometres away from the homes of her Berlin conqueror Florence Kiplagat, London Marathon champion Mary Keitany and world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat.
Team Great Britain’s spell in Iten will be funded by the London Marathon whose director David Bedford is a regular visitor at the world famous HATC.
Athletes bound for this year’s Chicago, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and New York marathons are currently training in Iten.