Dixon can’t wait for Commonwealth Games challenge

Sunderland Strollers' Alyson Dixon at Gateshead Stadium to help launch this year's Great North Run.
Sunderland Strollers' Alyson Dixon at Gateshead Stadium to help launch this year's Great North Run.
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ALYSON Dixon says it has killed her keeping quiet about her Commonwealth Games call-up for the past two weeks – but revealed she still burst into tears when she received written confirmation this week!

The Sunderland Stroller was told at the start of the month that she had won the her battle to represent England in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games.

But she was asked to say nothing until the news was officially announced on Monday.

She revealed: “It wasn’t easy because obviously you are so excited and you want to tell everyone about it.

“It was particularly difficult at work where I had to get shifts changed that I’d agreed to work ... but wasn’t supposed to explain the reason why.

“Then, of course, it was announced officially and twitter went crazy. I had dozens of phone calls and messages which was great.

“I’m so pleased to have been called up and even though I’d known about it for a fortnight. When the letter finally came through announcing it officially, I still cried just seeing it there in front of me!”

The Glasgow games run from July 23 to August 3, with the marathons held on Sunday, July 27, and Dixon’s last proper warm-up race will be a fortnight before – the Bupa Great North 10k run which starts and finishes at Gateshead Stadium after heading around Newcastle and back.

As part of Dixon’s preparations for the Games marathon, her approach to the Great North Run 10K will be slightly unusual to say the least - she plans to run from her home in Silksworth to Gateshead and hopefully time her arrival to coincide with the start of the race.

“It’s something I’ve done before,” she said. “The idea is to have that longer run which hopefully will set me up for the marathon in Glasgow later in the month.

“In terms of the schedule, the timing of the 10k run is just about perfect.

“I came second in the event last year and would love to win it this year but it’s all about the field of athletes who enter and how it works out on the day.”

The 35-year-old says her focus now is about avoiding illness almost as much as timing her fitness to perfection for the Games themselves.

She said: “ The training is going very well.

“I’m very happy with it and excited about the games themselves because I’ve entered a stage of my career where I’ve been recording personal bests and am looking forward to doing myself justice.

“As much as anything now, you’re looking to avoid picking up colds or anything like that, because that can really mess with your preparations.

“So far so good though, and hopefully by the time the BUPA 10k comes along, I’ll be saying the same thing.”