New Delhi: Train hard with passion and love -- this was legendary long-distance runner Paul Radcliffe's message as she cheered the participants of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon here on Sunday.
"Training is extremely important along with passion and love. One has to remain committed towards it," Radcliffe, who is the event ambassador for the half marathon, said.
Radcliffe, who endured a disappointing start to her career, said she didn't get bogged down by the result and put in more hours in training. "I finished 299th in my first race. So, instead of training once in a week, I started practising twice. I was only 13 then," added the 40-year-old, who returned to racing after two years with a third place finish in Worcester 10k in September.
"I would love to be out there but unfortunately, I can't compete with these ladies anymore," she said. A three-time winner of the London Marathon, three-time New York Marathon champion and winner of the 2002 Chicago Marathon, Radcliffe also lauded the quality of the Delhi half marathon course.
"Delhi course is good. There are lot of break-ups. A nice slope also helps in getting the rhythm," Radcliffe said. A former world champion in the marathon, half marathon and cross country, Radcliffe feels every athlete should have his distinct style.
"Everyone has a different approach to the running. Kenyans like to attack whereas Ethiopians prefer to sit back and charge later," she said.
Radcliffe set the world record with a timing of 2:15:25 at 2003 London Marathon.