ALYSON DIXON shattered the course record and ran the fastest time in the UK this year after her fabulous winning performance in last night’s Sunderland 5k at Silksworth Sports Complex.
The 34-year-old Sunderland Stroller finished 15th overall in a record-breaking field of 302 finishers to steal the show in the Sunderland Harriers-promoted event.
Her blistering run of 15min 52sec saw her become the first British woman to dip below the benchmark of 16 minutes on the UK roads this year. She also put to history the previous course record of 16.13 set by her former Chester-le-Street clubmate Freya Murray in 2008.
Dixon, who also won the North East Championship which was combined with the race, said: “I never expected that. I was quite surprised as my legs were heavy. I was looking to run around the 16.20 mark.
“But I got sight of a couple of clubmates that were ahead of me and that drove me on. When I hit the bridge, someone in the crowd shouted out 15.30, so I just went for it. I sprinted to the finish and got past quite a few men.”
Dixon, who was running her third race in nine days, said now she is looking forward to a break from racing: “I’m starting my marathon training in four days as I intend doing the Frankfurt Marathon in October.’’
A long way back behind the Silksworth athlete was Jarrow and Hebburn’s Alex Snook, who clocked 17.32, with Alison Dargie of Elswick third (17.45).
Sunderland Harrier Mark Hood nearly made it a Sunderland double, being denied victory by just five seconds by last year’s winner Lewis Timmins, who recorded 14.40 to take the North East championship.
Hood, who has won the event three times, put up a determined battle for honours, but he found the superior strength of the Morpeth Harrier a bit too much to handle, breaking his challenge just after 3k.
In third place was junior runner and international tri-athlete Calum Johnson. The Gateshead Harrier dipped under 15 minutes by just two seconds.
Durham City Harrier James Askew was fourth (15.08) and he beat 1984 Olympic silver medallist Mike McLeod’s son, Mark, who finished fifth (15.10).
In 12th place, with another scintillating performance, was 50-year-old Guy Bracken, who ran the fastest time in Britain this year in his category. The North Shields Polytechnic runner clocked 15.47 to put many of his younger competitors in the shade.
Results: 1 Lewis Timmins (Mor) 14.40, 2 Mark Hood (Sun Harr) 14.45, 3 Calum Johnson (Elswick) 14.58, 4 James Askew (Dur) 15.06, 5 Mark McLeod ((Mor) 15.10, 6 Gregory Javasuriya (Midds) 15.11, 7 Andy Burn (Jarrow) 15.12, 8 Ross Floyd (Mor) 15.15, 9 Daniel Jenkin (Dur) 15.15, 10 Ryan Stephensson (Mor) 15.27, 11 Ben Douglas (Dur) 15.34, 12 Guy Bracken V50 (NSP) 15.47, 13 Kevin Calvert (Sun Harr) 15.48, 14 Graeme Cook (NSP) 15.51, 15 Alyson Dixon (Sun Stroll) 15.52, 16 Steve Rankin (Sun Stroll)15.55, 17 Nathan Shrubb (Mor) 15.57, 18 Jordan Scott (Mor) 15.59, 19 Jed Marshall (Gates) 16.00, 20 Sparrow Morley (Tyne Bridge) 16.01, 21 Andy Graham (Walls) 16.04, 22 Graene Thorpe V40 (Sun Stroll) 16.11, 23 Michael Barker (Sun Harr) 16.13, 24 Henry Johnson (Gates) 16.17, 25 Paul Wilson (Hartlepool) 16.18, 26 Thomas Straughan (Mor) 16.20, 27 Joseph Turner (Tyne Bridge) 16.23, 28 Lee Bennet V40 (Els) 16.26, 29 Daryl Davison (Tyne Bridge)16.29, 30 Tony Murray (Crook) 16.30