SUNDERLAND Stroller Alyson Dixon celebrated her great World Half Marathon performance by shooting to the top of the UK rankings for the year in Copenhagen on Saturday.
On a sunny day in the Danish capital, Dixon finished a superb 18th in the women’s race in a time of 70min 37sec, a personal best by 42 seconds.
“The target was top 20 and I did that,” said Dixon. “I wasn’t concentrating on my time, but I’ve run a big PB.”
That personal best took her from 18th to 11th on the UK all-time list.
Dixon also had the consolation of beating team-mate Susan Partridge, who was 40th in 73.15. With five Kenyans filling the first five positions, the Silksworth athlete was the fourth European to finish.
The 35-year-old, who was third in the Reading half marathon last month behind winner Partridge, finished 27 places higher than when she competed in the same championship in Birmingham in 2009.
Dixon added: “Leading up to the race, I’d felt really sluggish and woke up with a bit of a sore throat the day before the race, so I was starting to doubt myself a bit.
“But I got out there and didn’t look at my watch until I could see the clock at the finish line.
“I had an idea I was on for a quick time from the athletes around me, but I had no idea on the position.
“Groups were coming back to me, which happens in major championships, and I was moving through.”
This performance by Dixon will do her Glasgow Commonwealth Games Marathon selection a power of good, as she is sitting out the selection race in the London Marathon, a week on Sunday.