Paula Radcliffe seems to be drawing her illustrious competitive running career to a gradual conclusion, with the news yesterday that she is to make this year's London Marathon in April her last one. The mother of two young children, Isla and Raphael, knows that at 41 the clock is against her these days (with an acknowledging nod no doubt to 'Supermum' Jo Pavey) and seems to have decided that she should draw a line under her racing ambitions over the distance.

Organisers of the London event have announced that the three-time winner, who last competed at the distance back in 2011 in Berlin, will not be running any further marathons in the future once this year's event on April 26th has been completed.

It will be her first appearance at London since 2005, in the race where she smashed the world best time in 2003. That amazing performance of two hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds remains the best by a woman to this date. It represents something of a coup for organiser, Hugh Brasher, son of the late Chris, who has stated that: "We are absolutely thrilled that Paula has chosen London for her final marathon".

Radcliffe has yet to decide whether she feels that she should compete in the women's elite race or not though, with a tremendous field already assembled. Defending champion Edna Kiplagat and the woman she narrowly defeated in last year's event, the unrelated Florence Kiplagat have already committed themselves to returning, besides 2013 champion Priscah Jeptoo and another former winner in Mary Keitany.

It seems that the Kenyans will be a force to reckon with yet again on the strength of those four leading athletes, yet the fastest time by any of them in the event is still more than three minutes slower than Radcliffe's best, showing how formidable she was at that time.

Since the birth of her daughter Isla, Radcliffe has had to juggle the demands of attempting to fit in the arduous training mileage associated with top class marathon training with those of motherhood, something which she feels is perfectly possible.

However, it can not have been easy to balance a competitive Athletics' career, with two young children to watch over between herself, Gary her husband and the rest of their extended family unit.

Perhaps the major limitation in recent years in her ongoing pursuit for perfection over the marathon distance though has been the relative fragility of her body, which doesn't seem to have given her a prolonged period injury-free in which to achieve her aims.

Pavey's success at last year's European Championships at almost the same age as Radcliffe and also with two children to consider, must have given her some reason for optimism but then again no two athletes are completely alike in their emotional and physical make-up, much as the heart may yearn for as long a running career as is possible. Maybe the time is right for her to call it a day and focus on her other interests and careers, including her insightful commentaries for the BBC at future athletics' events.

Not that Radcliffe is likely to stop running completely one would expect, as the running 'bug' is something that is hard to pull away from completely, especially for someone so dedicated as Radcliffe has been to the sport.

It will be interesting to learn what the subsequent future plans are for such an eloquent and well- educated woman.

She did not achieve her aim of an Olympic triumph nor even a medal over the marathon distance (her highest placing being a disappointing 23rd in 2008), but was successful when claiming gold at the Helsinki World Championships of 2005 in the event, to back up her silver over 10,000m on the track in 1999 in Seville. Besides three London triumphs, she repeated that feat with three wins in the New York Marathon. She also won many medals over the longer distance events and cross-country at other major championships, in what will be remembered as a highly successful running career.

She is already a MBE, but do not be too surprised if she is bestowed a higher honour in future years, especially now that her career in athletics seems to be winding down. Already there have been calls for her to become a Dame and that may be a fitting honour for her to receive.