They are women at different ends of the marathon spectrum, but for Christelle Daunay and Paula Radcliffe, it is set to be a significant year and in April they will find themselves in the same race together.
Daunay, who won the European Athletics Championship gold medal in Zurich in August, is determined to build on that success on the road to the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 while Radcliffe, the marathon world record-holder, will finally bow out over the 26.2 miles.
— LondonMarathon (@LondonMarathon) January 14, 2015
Great Britain’s Radcliffe will run the distance for the last time at the London Marathon but do not expect her to be one of the women chasing victory.
Instead, she is here to achieve her aim of a farewell to the marathon on the course which turned her into a superstar in 2003 when she broke her own world record time to win in 2:15:25.
It is a measure of her performance that almost 12 years on, that mark remains untouchable but she will look on as the strong elite field includes Daunay.
The Frenchwoman holds the national record of 2:24:22 and in Zurich she showed what a tough character she is when she won with a championship record of 2:25:14 over the looped course which included a tough climb - four times.
Click below to watch Daunay cross the finish:
Daunay confirmed to L’Equipe that she will run the Paris half-Marathon on 8 March which will be an important part of her preparation for the marathon just over six weeks later where the field is led by Kenyan Edna Kiplagat, the double world champion who will be defending her London title.
Turning 40 last month, Daunay remains full of ambition and she wants to break both that marathon national record and her all-time French best half-Marathon time of 1:08:34.
Radcliffe, who was 41 in December, has won the London on three occasions, the first in 2002, her marathon debut, when she triumphed with an amazing first-race run of 2:18:55, the second quickest in history.
By the time of her sensational 2:15:25 12 months later, she was already the world record-holder having set a time of 2:17:18 in Chicago in October 2002, with her last London triumph being in 2005 when she won in 2:17:42.
We are also absolutely thrilled that Paula has chosen London for her final marathon and we know the British crowds will be out in force on 26 April to celebrate her extraordinary career. This is a fitting celebration of marathon running in our 35th year.