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Radcliffe to defend New York title

LOS ANGELES, October 2- Britain's Paula Radcliffe, who underwent surgery on her foot earlier this year, announced Thursday she will try for her third-consecutive New York Marathon title next month.PAULA_RADCLIFFE_The world record holder Radcliffe said she has recovered fully from the bunion surgery and is looking forward to defending her New York crown. She also won the race in 2007 and 2004.

"The pull of New York was always strong and the pull of coming back for a fourth victory was also strong," Radcliffe said. "I would love to get a fourth title."

Radcliffe did not run competitively for almost 10 months because of an assortment of injuries and the surgery. She withdrew from the 2009 London Marathon because of a broken toe. She has also had pelvic problems.

"I knew coming out of the surgery that this year would be a stepping stone back," she said.

The 35-year-old Radcliffe is trying to achieve something that hasn’t been done in 27 years when Grete Waitz captured her fourth New York Marathon title.

"I am really excited to be returning to New York this year for the marathon," said Radcliffe. "New York holds so many inspiring and happy memories for me. I want to continue adding memories for many years to come."

Radcliffe won last year’s race in a time of two hours, 23 minutes, 56 seconds.

Radcliffe captured her first Big Apple title in 2004 in dramatic fashion when she edged Susan Chepkemei, of Kenya, by three seconds in the closest women’s finish in race history.

Radcliffe said Thursday she’s hoping to leave the field behind at the New York race on November 1.

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"On a good day with good weather, I should be able to push the course record down to 2:20 or lower," said Radcliffe in a tele-conference.

"I have a good understanding of the course and I feel I should be able to run faster on it. I feel my times have been average and I would like to go faster."

Radcliffe said she is eager to race again after the long layoff from the and follow up rehabilitation from the surgery.

"The foot feels good and I can almost forget about it," she said. "Where as before I could not get my shoe on now I can. I can go on long runs now and not have to worry about icing it. I can walk normal again."

Radcliffe holds the women’s world record of 2:15:25 for the marathon which she set in 2003 in London.

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