She does not, to our knowledge, leap tall buildings in a single bound, have telepathic powers, or possess the ability to control the weather. But Paula Radcliffe, who, we learned today, will be competing again this year in the London Marathon en route to trying for the gold at the summer Olympics in Beijing, could make a claim to a few other superhero abilities. Superhuman strength? Check. She runs 26.2 miles in the time it takes most of us to walk to the corner off-licence and back. Power of invisibility? Check. Very few of her competitors get as much as a single glance at her, so busy is she leaving them in her dust. Can she fly? Well, covering 26.2 miles in 2 hours and 15 minutes would seem to very nearly qualify.
This woman seriously rocks.
Oh and here’s one point worth repeating: It’s been only a year since Radcliffe gave birth to her first child. Baby Isla will turn one on Thursday, yet Radcliffe has wasted no time adding another win, the 2007 New York City Marathon, to her list of accomplishments. Between Radcliffe and tennis champ and new mum Lindsay Davenport, currently competing in the 2008 Australian Open just 7 months after giving birth to baby Jagger, we sense that the concept of maternity leave has a very different meaning for some women. It may even inspire those of us without little Londonistas running around to pick up the pace on our next stroll to the store.
In the meantime, we’ll be cheering for you, Paula.
Image courtesy of Alan Cordova’s Flickr photostream