Dixon on course for selection

Alyson Dixon.
Alyson Dixon.
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SUNDERLAND Stroller Alyson Dixon is back on course for Commonwealth Games marathon selection after her impressive run at Newcastle last week.

She breezed round the 10k course on the Town Moor to win the Heaton Harriers’ Memorial women’s race in 34min 48sec.

This was a significant performance after being out on the sidelines for nine weeks with an Achilles tendon injury.

She treated the race as a tempo training run on her first race back since she was forced to pull out of the Great North Run on the eve of the race.

“I went out for a three mile training run to test my Achilles, but I decided to withdraw. It was just too painful’’ she said.

“But then I aggravated the problem a few weeks later when I fell over a dog during a Sunderland parkrun. I’ve now been back training for four weeks.”

Dixon now intends to return to the cross country scene at the UKA European Cross Country trials at Liverpool on Saturday. The first six will be selected for Belgrade on Sunday, December 8. But she thinks this might well be beyond her.

“I’m targeting a place in the top nine and selection for the Edinburgh International on January 11. I think this is a more realistic target,’’ said the 35-year-old.

But she is unsure on whether to take her place on the start line for the London Marathon and selection race for the Commonwealth Games on Sunday, April 13.

She is currently sitting on top of the England women’s marathon rankings with her 2.31.08 from Brighton in April.

“The qualification for Glasgow is 2hrs 35min so I’ve already got that under my belt but there is still time for other athletes to run that time in the coming months before the three-strong team is named.

“Susan Partridge tops the UK marathon rankings, but she is Scottish so is out of the equation. Amy Whitehead and myself are the only two English athletes who have ran under 2:35, but that could change.

“The selectors have said that the first English runner home in the London Marathon will be selected for Glasgow, providing that she has the qualifying time.

“I had hoped to try and post another faster qualifying time in the Frankfurt Marathon two weeks ago, but my injury ruled me out of the race. Now, I face the situation on whether to compete in London, or just to rely that my time will still stand-up for selection when the team is announced after the London Marathon. At the moment, I’m not sure what I will do.

“If things don’t work out there is still the European Championships in Zurich a few weeks after Glasgow, but the Commonwealths is my main aim.”

Dixon, who finished 42nd in the Daegu World Championship marathon in 2011, has a point to prove after just missing out on making the GB team for a second time at this summer’s World Championships in Moscow.

The strict qualification meant that her 2:31:08 was just eight seconds short of what was required.

The Silksworth athlete believes there is still much more to come in her marathon career.

“I know I’m not getting any younger, but I think I am capable of running around 2.28 in the right race.” she added.