Claire Hallissey wins final female marathon spot for Team GB

CLAIRE Hallissey has been named as the third female Great Britain marathon runner for the Olympics, alongside world record holder Paul Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi.

Hallissey, 29, received the call after her impressive personal best in Sunday’s London Marathon, in which she clocked two hours 27 minutes 44 seconds to finish 11th.

“I am definitely looking forward to getting back over there (to the United States, where her husband has a job) and just escaping for a little while,” said American-based Hallissey, who has been a full-time athlete for one-and-a-half years.

“But at the same time I will be over here during some of my preparations. I think there will be elements of all the hype and interest that will be quite nice and will help with the build-up and help remind me - not that I need much reminding - why I’m putting myself through all the pain of the training.

“I’ve seen for myself last weekend it can all get a bit much at times and you just want to hide away and get back to your running, going out on those long runs and escaping from everything.

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“This is my big break in running and all of the attention and doing all the interviews is something that I am not used to. It’s very flattering and it’s lovely to get the attention, but at the same time it’s quite tiring as well, trying to come up with interesting things to say to people.”

Hallissey took the last place from under the nose of Jo Pavey, who had the ‘A’ qualifying standard from last year’s race but gambled to sit out the London showpiece and rely on her time.

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