Paula Radcliffe is the fastest female marathon runner on the planet, having completed the London course in 2:15:25 in 2003, after setting the previous record in the same race a year earlier.
Now 41, she formally ended her racing career in April, after announcing that the 2015 London Marathon would be her last competitive event, but that she would continue to train for fun.
“I think Stockholm is a beautiful city, I really love running by the water,” she said after joining a group of Swedish and expat runners getting to know the course for the Nike Women's 10km race, which is taking place in the Nordic capital on June 27th.
With 5,000 people expected to complete the event, Radcliffe urged competitors to invest in the right sport shoes, set a training plan and join a club or run with friends in the coming weeks.
Marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe: Photo: Nike
Fellow Brit Annie Poole, who ran alongside the world record holder on Monday said: “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to run with such an inspirational woman.”
The 29-year-old who is training for the Nike event with the capital's Ssideline City running club added: “I was proud to be a Brit in Stockholm this week and Paula inspired me to train harder and keep focused and excited.”
Stockholm runners at the event with Paula Radcliffe. Photo: Kristian Hell
Ssideline City, which says around 40 percent of its members are international, is one of a number of organizations in Stockholm offering free training events in the capital, with others including Runday Monday (which mostly offers interval training, largely in Swedish) and Lulu Lemon (a sportwear brand which welcomes guest coaches from across the globe each Thursday).
Running is one of the most popular sports in Sweden and the Nike 10km event in the capital is among dozens of races happening across the country this summer.
These include the annual city run in Norrköping, south of Stockholm, which takes place on August 15th. Organizers invite entrants of all abilities to complete a 5km or 10km loop, and promise fun music to help participants along the course.
For the very brave, Lapland is putting on a 100km ultra marathon on June 26th, which takes place overnight in northern Sweden, where the city experiences sun throughout the night. Shorter 25km and 10km courses are available the following day.
On the west coast, Skatås just outside Gothenburg is hosting a half marathon as well as 14km and 7km ridge running events on June 6th.
Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö are each also set to hold Midnattsloppet events in August and September — 10km runs which get underway as the clock strikes midnight.