Marathon star Radcliffe reveals her spooky lucky number

Paula Radcliffe has revealed how the number 17 features prominently in her life story (Kennedy News and Media)
Paula Radcliffe has revealed how the number 17 features prominently in her life story (Kennedy News and Media)

By Helen Le Caplain

Marathon running legend Paula Radcliffe claims 17 is her lucky number - as it uncannily features in dozens of her life's greatest moments and achievements.

The former fastest female marathoner of all time revealed the spooky significance of the prime number while chatting with Kirsty Gallacher about goal-setting throughout her career.

Coincidentally in the 17th minute of the Bestinvest podcast Give Us Your Goals, Paula discusses the moment her world record time of 2:17:17 was broken after 17 years.

Paula, who's married to Gary Lough, then revealed her beloved grandma was born on December 17th 1917 and married on July 17th.

Her dad was born on February 17th, her aunty on June 17th, and Paula's own birthday falls on December 17th - the same day as her grandma.

Continuing the Radcliffe family legacy of 17 being an integral number in her life, Paula's own daughter was born on January 17th 2007.

Paula said: "My grandma who I was extremely close to was born on the 17th of December 1917 and she weighed less than 3lbs.

"They didn't think she'd survive and she lived to 95 nearly 96 and she was a huge inspiration to me.

"She was married on the 17th of July, my dad was born on the 17th of February, my aunt was born on the 17th of June. I was her first grandchild and I was born on her birthday on the 17th of December.

"Then much later on Isla was born on the 17th of January 2007 so she was 01/07.

"When I crossed the finish line in Chicago, Gary immediately handed me the phone and said 'ring your grandma'.

"I said 'Grandma, I set the world record, guess what time I ran?' Then I held it for 17 years, pretty much to the day, and it was broken in Chicago.

"If she'd still been alive today to see that she would have said 'ok that'll do, you can have that one'."

The long-distance runner emphasised the importance of setting goals, both from a sports and financial perspective.

Paula said she puts her success down to her relentless pursuit of goals and the support of her family - stressing how both her family and being happy are her main priorities in life.

Findings from Bestinvest research show that Radcliffe’s experiences of setting goals and putting family first resonate with many others.

Of the 2,000 Brits quizzed, 60% said that ‘looking after loved ones’ is one of their top life goals.

This is even more important for those aged between 45-54 years old with ‘being happy’ (67%), ‘enjoying quality time with family’ (52%), and ‘looking after loved ones’ (44%) at their highest percentage.

But Bestinvest’s data also reveals that across all age groups fewer than a fifth (19.8%) of Britons are planning to save for their retirement.

As many people grapple with financial challenges this autumn, 63% have set financial goals, such as clearing all their debts (29%) and investing for a rainy day (23%).

Paula said she was 'lucky' to have the financial support and guidance of her dad from a young age.

Paul said: "I was really lucky that my dad gave me a lot of really valuable [financial] advice growing up.

"Understanding that at a young age was something key and that's what I try and do with my kids now.

"I had to get to a certain age before I understood what my dad had done for me but I'm extremely grateful that he did do that and I'm trying to repeat that with my kids now."

Even with the best intentions, people can miss out on their goals, but Paul said this doesn't make someone a failure and can even encourage people to become better.

Paula said: "I think it's important to recognise that there are lots of goals we set in life that we never get to.

"It doesn't mean we're a failure, it might mean a fleeting bit of disappointment but that's what fuels you to achieve more in other areas and to keep driving yourself.

"If we achieved every goal that we set easily there wouldn't be as much purpose and motivation in life, I think that's part of life's experience.

"It maybe makes us into a better person because somebody who achieves everything that they try and do probably starts to become maybe a little bit full of themselves."

As part of a new initiative called 'Give Us Your Goals', Bestinvest is empowering people to reach their goals by offering to fund four people’s lifelong ambitions.

The fund will consist of £20,000, giving four people the chance of winning £5,000 each and a consultation with a Bestinvest Financial Coach.

To apply, candidates simply need to tell Bestinvest about their goals and what it would mean to achieve them.