Dixon smashes PB, but now faces waiting game

Alyson Dixon.
Alyson Dixon.
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SUNDERLAND STROLLER Alyson Dixon shattered her personal best, but agonisingly missed out on the World Championship qualifying time by just ten seconds in yesterday’s Brighton Marathon.

Dixon recorded 2hr 31min 10sec to crush her previous fastest time (2.34.50) she set at Brighton in 2011.

Kenyan Eunice Kales pulled away from Dixon (right)at the 15 mile mark to win on her marathon debut in a time of 2hr 28min 46sec, breaking the previous record of 2hr 29min 57sec, set by Sviatlana Kouhan last year. Kenya’s Frashiah Waithaka was third.

Dixon now faces an anxious wait to see what her rivals do in next Sunday’s London Marathon and what happens at the the Moscow World Championship team selection meeting on Monday.

H Weyney Ghebresilasie returned to competition after a two-week stay in hospital to win yesterday’s South Shields Harriers’ Sand Dancer multi-terrain race in gale force winds.

The 19-year-old Sunderland Harrier, under strict orders to just do enough to win, clocked 33.59 to win the race by 29 seconds from Andy Burn of Jarrow and Hebburn AC.

The Eritrean was rushed to hospital after collapsing while out training a month ago and he was found to be suffering from a viral infection.

Ghebresilasie was nearly bent double as he tried to deal with the howling gale and sand storms as he led the race throughout, over the approximate distance of 10k.

Such was the strength of the wind that it led to seasoned campaigner and veterans’ international Archie Jenkins to comment that it was the worst conditions that he had ever competed in.

Ghebresilasie said: “It was so windy, I could not run fast. The sand was blowing into my face. I feel better and I’m gradually getting stronger.”

Ghebresilasie’s improving clubmate Craig Isherwood finished just four seconds behind Burn in third place.

Sunderland Strollers placed Ken Maynard V50 11th (39.17), Paul Roper V55 14th (39.58), Jon DaviesV40 24th (41.42), Steve Tinwell V45 44th (43.48), Harry Harrison V40 49th (44.29). Houghton Harriers’ had Shaun McGrath V45 31st (42.31) and Daniel Hopper 33rd (42.54).

The women’s race was won by Jarrow and Hebburn’a over-45 Elaine Leslie in 40.59 from Louise Rodgers (43.11). Houghton Harrier Katie Scott was fourth (44.58).

H Sunderland Harriers were among the prizes in Saturday’s Cragside 10k road race. Michelle Avery finished second (40.38) to Angela McGurk, nee Hunter (39.37) in the women’s race. Peter Richardson finished first over-60 in 19th (40.19) and Vince Emmet was first over-55 (45.37).

Sunderland Strollers won the women’s team race with Vicki Booth fifth (43.04), Alyson West first over-45 (45.18) and Jenna Maynard (48.05). They also had Gerry Richard 24th (40.56), Terry Topping 35th (42.59) and David Groak 49th (44.37).