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Paula Radcliffe ‘so proud’ of daughter after terrifying cancer scare

Paula Radcliffe has spoken about how proud she is of her daughter Isla, who was diagnosed with a germ cell tumour last year and battled through it

Paula Radcliffe has spoken about how proud she is of her daughter Isla, who was diagnosed with a germ cell tumour last year and battled through it

My proudest moment is… having my children, Isla and Raphael, and then Isla coming through her cancer battle. She got diagnosed with a germ cell tumour last August and the strength she has shown has been inspirational.

We’ve had our all-clear check now but the after-effects are still there. She has had to work so hard to catch up on all her schoolwork and I am so proud of her, as I am our son in the way he has dealt with it all too.

One of my biggest fears is… When I was pregnant, it was, “What if I am not a good mum? What if I don’t know what to do?” Now
I am a mum, I’ve learnt that we all get it wrong from time to time but you need to trust your instincts.

Paula and her daughter Isla


Charlie Varley/

I’ve never pushed my children to… follow in my footsteps. Yes, I am passionate that they stay physically active, but I am a huge believer in every child being able to find what they like. In fact, I’m pushier with homework than I am with physical education!

I’ve been married for… 20 years. Me and Gary respect each other and we don’t keep any secrets from each other.

We don’t go to sleep on an argument either! There are a lot of things we share and love together.

As a professional athlete… my biggest driving force initially was my love of running. Then, as my career progressed, it was seeing how fast I could run. I wanted to get the best out of myself. Now I’ve retired, I love seeing others enjoy the sport.

I am actually in the middle of organising RunFestRun – it’s a family festival encouraging everyone to take part in the sport as well as loads of bands playing and other cool activities.

Lockdown has taught me… perspective and appreciation. We went to Isla’s last MRI check still in lockdown – it puts it all into perspective. It is important to value what you have.

I feel very British… but I am also European and I feel very at home in Monte Carlo. We moved there in 2005, after the Athens Olympics, where I felt like I had let people down.

Lockdown has given Paula a new perspective


Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Paula admits running is calming for her


Getty Images)

I wanted a fresh start somewhere else and we all love it in France. My children were born there, I’ve got family there, we’ve made friends there and it’s great to live in an area where the sun is always shining.

Running is… my calming influence. It has helped enormously in lockdown and in any period of stress.

If I have got things swirling around in my head, I will always go for a run. My friends laugh at me when I say, “I’ve been thinking
on my run” and they say, “Here we go!”

Paula is a team captain at this year’s RunfestRun, which takes place from 27 to 29 August. For tickets, visit

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