EXCLUSIVE I want to beat the London Marathon winner at the 2012 2009: Incredibly Frustrating

EXCLUSIVE I want to beat the London Marathon winner at the 2012

It is incredibly frustrating to once again be sitting at home when I was hoping that I would be running today's London Marathon.

It's an extraordinary event, a wonderful day for thousands of people and a race which has powerful and emotional memories for me. However, a fractured metatarsal forced me out and, having since had surgery to hopefully correct the problems once and for all, instead I'll be watching on television at home in Monaco. The good news is that the bunion surgery on my right foot should mean that my risks of further injuries are now much less than before. And the even better news is that at last I seem to be coming into my prime as a marathon runner. When you look at the list of contenders for what should be an excellent women's race, the vast majority are in the 35 to 40 age range. Flying the flag: Britain's Paula Radcliffe celebrates winning the New York Marathon in November - but will miss out on the London Marathon on Sunday I've always said that the London Olympics in 2012 could be a huge goal of mine and though some people might have doubted whether I could carry on that long, the way my event is progressing gives me considerable optimism. I have also noted in training that my endurance continues to improve. The Olympic champion from last year in Beijing, Constantine Dita, is running today and she's 39. My favourite for today's race is London's reigning champion, Irina Mikitenko, from Germany, who is 36 and who looks like being one of my big rivals over the next few years. In fact, at just 35 years old I'm beginning to feel like a youngster.

I've had more than my fair share of injuries over the past few years and I was beginning to think that it must be the inevitable accumulation of years of training. However, having examined the causes of my recent injuries, every one since 2006 - with the exception of a sacral stress fracture after giving birth to Isla - has stemmed from problems with my right foot. X-rays showed that the big toe joint was so dislocated it was barely able to function at all.

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