Sunderland Stroller just outside record

Alyson Dixon
Alyson Dixon
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SUNDERLAND Stroller Alyson Dixon finished just 11 seconds outside the women’s course record when winning the Norman Woodcock Memorial five-mile road race at Gosforth Park on Saturday.

The 36-year-old led from start to finish, over three laps of the ambulance track around the race course, to finish 12th overall in 27.34.

The World Championship and Commonwealth Games marathon runner finished 40 seconds ahead of the second athlete, Shona Fletcher of Richmond and Zetland (28.14). The host club’s course record holder, Justina Heslop (27.23), was third (28.36).

Dixon was one of a number of Strollers involved in the Elswick Harriers’ event. First home for the club was Tony Noble in seventh (26.27), then came Steve Rankin in ninth with a personal best of 26.57, Andy Powell was 21st in another PB (28.01), Steve McMahon was 22nd (28.06), Michael Laws finished 32nd (28.43) and Aidan Crowe ended 50th (29.57).

Sunderland Harriers’ masters international Paul Merrison was first over-50 in 41st (29.18). Clubmate Michael Lavender was 26th (28.18). over-45 Barry Marlee was 116th (36.51) and over-40 Rachael Moore finished 127th (38.49).

The race winner was Gateshead Harrier Chris Parr in 24.24, three seconds ahead of Richard Morrell who denied Morpeth first team prize as he was not wearing a club vest. Third was Morpeth’s Thomas Straughan (25.59).