Sunderland star hits great form

Alyson Dixon
Alyson Dixon
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ALYSON DIXON shot to the top of this year’s UK women’s 10k rankings following her outstanding winning performance in the Trafford 10k yesterday.

The 36-year-old Sunderland Stroller clipped six seconds off her previous best set in Brighton last year.

Just back from four weeks’ altitude training in Kenya, the Silksworth athlete made full use of the advantage of coming back down to sea level to dominate the women’s race

Just back from four weeks’ altitude training in Kenya, the Silksworth athlete made full use of the advantage of coming back down to sea level to dominate the women’s race

She clocked 32.29 to finish 69th overall to overtake Charnwood’s Gemma Steel (32.52) at the top of the ranking list.

She had such luminaries as Helen Clitheroe (33.41) and Ellie Vernon (34.06) trailing in her wake.

This was the perfect fillip for the international marathon runner, who finished last in the Edinburgh cross country in January.

Dixon will return to Brighton at the end of the month for what could be her next 10k.

Sunderland Harriers’ had four men clocking huge personal bests in the race with Nathan Reed improving from 33.05 to finish 50th in 31.56.

Andy Powell was 93rd in 33.19 compared to his previous best (35.41), Ian Dixon clocked 34.15 (34.49), Michael Laws was over four minutes faster with 34.39 (39.02) and veteran Paul Blakey recorded 34.43.

Powell said: “Since joining the Harriers, the training has been top class and our PB’s are testament to the great work Richy Tough is doing for us as coach.”

The North East senior men’s team came away from the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships and World Trials with team gold for the fifth time in a row.

They beat Kent by 50 points and 29 other counties – despite one of their top runners, Durham City Harrier Dan Garbutt, withdrawing from the team through illness just before the 12k race at Cofton Park, Birmingham.

They placed Nick Swinburn fifth, Johnny Talyor 14th, Phil Wylie 20th, Carl Smith 24th, Lewis Timmins 27th and Carl Avery 41st in the race won by Scotsman Andrew Butchart.

The North East also won the under-15 boys’ team race with Max Pearson sixth, Reece Curtis ninth, Josh Cowperthwaite 10th and Kieran Hedley 23rd. Sunderland Harrier Sean Mackie recovered from a fall to finish 159th.

The other medals came from the under-17 women’s team who picked-up bronze and were only seven points off gold. The team was Kate Waugh ninth, Olivia Bateman 25th, Sunderland’s Sophie Burnett 26th and Hollie Elliott 33rd.

Houghton Harriers had Henry Johnson 75th in the under-13 boys’ and Eva Hardy 111th in the under-13 girls’.

The North East women’s team finished fifth with Justina Heslop the first home in 28th. The race winner was Surrey’s Lily Partridge.