World-Record Holder Paula Radcliffe To Retire After London

The fastest female marathoner in the world is hanging up her shoes after Sunday.

2007- Marathon world-record holder Paula Radcliffe wins the New York City Marathon just 10 months after giving birth to her first child. The image of Britain’s Radcliffe wrapped in the Union Jack while carrying her baby daughter after the race serves as inspiration for mother runners everywhere.

England’s Paula Radcliffe still clenches the world record in the marathon (2:15:25). The storied marathon has won the London Marathon three times (2002, her debut marathon; 2003; and 2005). She won the NYC Marathon three times as well (2004, 2007 and 2008). Radcliffe owns the top-three fastest marathon times of all time. And on Sunday, April 26, the marathoning queen will race her final 26.2 at the London Marathon, where it all started. Before the running world officially sends Radcliffe off into retirement, here are some tidbits about the fastest marathoner around that are worth jotting down:

  • All of Radcliffe’s New York City wins came in her thirties.
  • She outkicked the current American record holder in the marathon, Deena Kastor, for the win at the 2002 world cross-country championships.
  • In 2001, Radcliffe, who frequently wears a red ribbon in support of blood testing, protested the reinstatement of Russia’s Olga Yegorova after she tested positive for a banned substance in competition.
  • The speedster catches a total of 11 hours of daily snooze time on the regular—can we get in on that?!
  • Mama Radcliffe ran—and won—the 2007 NYC Marathon 10 months after giving birth to her son. Her performance created some initial buzz around the topic of running through pregnancy and motherhood.

Radcliffe will certainly retire from running with many miles of impressive marks and moves behind her. The question is: Will she retire with the world record, or will that be broken on Sunday?