Radcliffe Wins Half-Marathon Test

     This from Bloomberg News on Sunday morning’s New York City Half-Marathon, which featured England’s Paula Radcliffe. She used the race as a fitness test to see if she’s ready for the World Championships women’s marathon in one week, Aug. 23 in Berlin:

Paula Radcliffe of Britain won the women’s race in the New York City Half-Marathon in 1 hour, 9 minutes, 45 seconds, testing her surgically repaired foot for a possible run in the marathon world championships next week.

Tadese Tola of Ethiopia won the men’s race over the 13.1- mile (21.1-kilometer) course that ended near Battery Park in 1:01:05. Both winners held large leads at the finish. American Deena Kastor, 36, a former Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon women’s winner, was seventh in 1:13:48.

Radcliffe, 35, the world-record holder in the women’s marathon, said she will decide whether to enter the world championships in Berlin on Aug. 23 based upon how she performs today and feels in the coming days. She had surgery on March 17 to remove bunions and repair fractures in her foot.

“It was good for me to get out and run and get out and win,” Radcliffe said on a conference call. “I’ll see how I come through the next couple of days. It’s definitely more likely than it was last week.”

Radcliffe said her decision on Berlin probably will take two to three days. She said her foot felt fine and that she had to deal with a tight hamstring about 10 miles into the race.

“I’m still not 100 percent,” she said.

Radcliffe took the lead midway through today’s race and steadily pulled away. Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia was second in 1:11:04 on a course that started in Central Park and ran south through the heart of Manhattan.

“Running down Seventh Avenue through Times Square was a great opportunity,” said Radcliffe, who won her seventh straight race on New York City streets.

Tola led from the opening strides and was alone at the finish. Ridouane Harroufi was second in 1:02:34.